As the middle of five kids growing up in dire poverty, the odds were low on Katriona O'Sullivan making anything of her life. She became a mother at 15 and ended up homeless. Five rackety years followed - barely coping, drinking to escape - until Katriona, now living in her father's native Dublin, hit rock bottom. 'Poor' is the extraordinary story - moving, funny, brave, and sometimes startling - of how Katriona turned her life around. During her schooldays there had been teachers who looked out for her - beacons of stability in a chaotic childhood. They planted seeds of self-belief. In Dublin when she sought help, she found mentors whose encouragement revived that self-belief. She got clean, got a flat and a job as a cleaner and, eventually, got into Trinity College. Today Dr Katriona O'Sullivan is an award-winning lecturer whose work explores barriers to education.