I have a massive level of respect for Travis. He paid the price for his errors and now is an amazing DIFFERENCE MAKER. I always leave his book in open view for students in ISS to pick up. I need to get a few more as someone walked off with the copy we had. I'D ACTUALLY CALL THAT A GOOD THING! Travis is a point of pride for Lely our community and the nation We need to use him more.
Richard Nichols IIS High School Teacher
Hello Mr. Waters! I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story with my son. Your story is the reason my son is here sharing this Christmas with us and as a mother I can't thank you enough. My son has been in and out of treatment, hospitals and jails for drugs and nothing has worked. I bought your book and made him read it. He's been clean and has stopped selling drugs. You saved my sons life and I can never repay you for that. Thank you for making my Christmas special.
God Bless you. Mr. Waters
Hey Travis. My name is Taylor. You came to speak to me and the group I was with when I was in rehab a few years ago at Inspirations in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I have read your book more than once because it is such a powerful book. I want to thank you so much for the impact you have made on my life. I still struggle with
getting clean but I will bet that this book has saved my life more than once. There have been situations that I have kept myself out of and I would like to think that it is because of your story. Thank you again. Are you working on a movie still?
The Westcoast Kid By Travis Waters- will take hold of you and not let you go until you finish the last page. You will sit for a minute and think what an extraordinary journey you just experienced. Travis was able to take you into a world of danger and intrigue giving insight into the terrain of addictions, abuse and manipulations. You will applaud his courage and strength to recover. A must read for anyone traveling a misguided road. This book will inspire and escort a broken soul to freedom and healing.
Lois On The Line - WXBR 1460 am radio Loisberman.com
“The West Coast Kid” is an eye-opening book on so many levels. It isn’t often someone who has walked a path as Travis Waters’ has, comes forth with the facts without sugar-coating any of them, and you feel like you are walking the path with him experiencing the ugliness of a very dark world that most people never see. The bright side is that he made a choice to take the darkness, creating a light that is affecting people of all ages in a positive way. As a talk show host I recommend Travis for interviews; as an author I recommend you read his story. It is a powerful one.
Donna Seebo - Talk Show Radio Host/The Donna Seebo Show Tacoma, WA
In working with struggling readers, the obvious objective is to help students improve their reading skills. The best way to do this is by having the students read. Like with everything in life, practice makes perfect. This may sound easy, but to those who have teens or work with struggling students, asking them to read is not always a simple task. As a classroom teacher, I know that real learning occurs when students are engaged - when they are interested in the subject at hand. It can be difficult to find reading material that appeals to the most determined 'non-reading' teen. Travis Waters' story, The Westcoast Kid, hooked my most reluctant students into reading. Being a former basketball star and a graduate of Lely High School was the attention-getter. His story, provided the 'slam-dunk.'
Several of my most at-risk students tell me that it was the first book they ever really read - from cover to cover - and would recommend the book to a friend. As a teacher, this is music to my ears!
Travis Waters shares his story - one that is real and can serve as a cautionary tale for students that face choices everyday, but may be unaware of the real consequences attached.
Jane VanderKley Donovan- English & Reading teacher, Lely High School
The youth that have read your book have all come to me with the same feeling. Once they picked the book up, they couldn’t put it down. They also realize that no matter how big or little their actions, they all have consequences. So many youth today think that drugs are no big deal. Your book shed’s light on it and makes it real what can happen if this is the road you choose to go down. Even the youth that have read your book and that are not going down the wrong path say they know family members or friends that are doing the wrong things and are going to give them your book to read and they hope it will make them change their ways. I personally thank you for also speaking to our youth group. Reading the book, seeing your documentary and then seeing you in person really affected these youth into realizing it is all real.
Thank you and God Bless,
Monty Richards Director of Youth Ministries, Moorings Presbyterian Church
First of all, I have to thank Travis Waters for sharing this book with us. His is a story the likes of which I have never read. It is a comprehensive, heart wrenching, brutally honest account of substance abuse, addiction, and ultimately... redemption. This book should be read by anyone whose life has been touched by any type of addiction. The writing is fantastic, Travis' unconquerable spirit is present in every line. I cannot believe he survived some of the things that are described in this book. Many times as I was reading, I had to put the book aside for a moment because it was all too much to take in at one time. The best thing I can say about this book is even if the reader is the most cynical of people, he or she will still come away having learned something. I for one consider myself a better person for having read it~
Peter Greyson, Author of Dear Lilly:From Father to Daughter
This book has too much information at times. It has profanity and details some of the abuse he suffered in prison. Yet I have never read a book that described prison life with such gritty detail.
This book should be read by area high school students, especially ones at risk, so that they will think twice about taking a path down the wrong direction.
Ft.Myers News press sports writer
"I hope The Westcoast Kid serves as a warning to those who like to "live on the edge," but also as an inspiration to realize that our mistakes do not have to define who we are and what we can become."
Don Stewart, Head Basketball Coach, Lely High School
“When Travis tells a bunch of teenagers that it all starts out as fun, and the next thing you know you're getting assaulted in prison, a hush falls over the crowd. He lets them know the reality of drugs – you're either going to end up in jail or dead."
Chris Walsh, Owner
Inspirations Teen Rehab
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
“Some may think this is not a big deal, however these kids I teach do not read and they really don’t read out loud in front of their peers. Travis, this is huge. Now all 15 books are in circulation and 15 kids at Lely who have never had a positive reading experience with reading are asking for time in class to read. Many more kids are in line for your book.”
In the book there is a part that grabbed the students.
“There is a moment when Travis helped deliver his first load of pot (marijuana) and was wined and dined,” Whiting said. “At that moment he knew it wasn’t a good idea, he knew what he was giving up. He made the wrong choice. He never could have imagined what would happen to him and more.”
English Teacher/Intensive Reading Assistance
Lely High School
I am a teacher of students with “special needs” at Lely High School in Naples, FL. The students in my class have various emotional and behavioral disorders to go along with assorted learning disabilities. They tend to have problems making good decisions and behaving within normal classroom standards. I used Travis and his story to help my students see what impact their decisions, made every day, can have upon their future. By the time Travis came to talk with them, my kids had seen a short documentary and some had read his book “The West Coast Kid”. The opportunity to see a real example of what can happen to someone they can relate to (a former student at Lely) as a result of choosing the wrong path in life was eye-opening and, I hope, life changing for my students. I only hope that I can get him to come back again this year.
Scott Nobles Special Needs Teacher/Lely High School
The "Westcoast Kid" is a great read for anyone who really needs to buckle down in life. The same thing goes for anyone who just likes to know about the other side of the tracks and why you should stay off them. The book is sure to keep you on your toes while educating you about the dangers of a risky lifestyle. The writer simply tells the truth and my students along with myself felt it throughout the whole book. The book shows you the consequences you will face when you make the wrong choices. It helps you to foresee a future you don't want to live.
Darren Watson Leadership Facilitator/Youth Co-Op, Inc. Miami, Florida
What an eye opener, such details and explicit reviles to have the students and the staff all engaged in this documentary was a wakeup call for so many of the students in whom I teach. Most of the students have seen or have some sort of knowledge of how the drug game works, just not from this point of view. After reading the book the students and staff alike felt like they have known Travis for some time. It was so surreal to have Mr. Waters come and share in more detail about his life. Also, to ask the questions, what made him write the documentary of his life story and to be so open and bold about his experience. As a group we are dedicated to give books for Nicholas' Angels. Thank you for sharing your story with so many, your documentaries will be used as a yearly teachable read for this classroom.
Sis Dixon, GED Teacher/ Youth Co-Op, Inc. Homestead, Florida
I recently read The West Coast Kid by Travis Waters and could not say enough nice things about this excellent book. In my opinion this book should be required reading for every teenager in America. His respect for his mother and the sad story that too many people experience " what if " makes this book very compelling reading. If you read this book and don't end up with a frightning view of our prison system I would be surprised.
The book was worth much more than the price. I wish Mr. Waters smooth sailing for the rest of his life.
Jim Scarrett N. Fort Myers, Florida
I am a 15 year old student, going into 10th grade. I just finished The Westcoast Kid. It definitely makes you think about all the decisions that we have to make. I think this book is a must read for every high school student. It will make you think twice any time you are faced with the decision to get involved with drugs. Sports and academics are the best choice. Thanks Travis.
Wyatt Barnett, Student Naples, Florida