THE BRONX - Despite his young age, a Bronx teenager is telling his life story as part of a program that aims to inspire youths -- and with some assistance from actor J.R. Martinez.

Shamari Senior, 17, was chosen out of 100 young men for the Transition to High School program, which aims to promote literacy and writing.

Martinez recently joined Shamari with a camera crew as the teen recounted that period of his life.

Shamari says he and his mother were homeless when they first came from Jamaica, and that his father wouldn't acknowledge him.

"Just because my father's not there, that doesn't mean I'm not going to be successful," said Shamari.

Next, he spoke about being picked on at his middle school, and losing his best friend in a hit-and-run.

Shamari's mother had no idea that he was chosen for the project, which includes a book called "Anthology," until he recently revealed everything to her. Martinez says choosing Shamari was a no-brainer.

"Anthology" is scheduled to be released in May.