Company Philosophy

Minus 20 Publications is dedicated to spreading the message that an individual can improve their situation, no matter where they begin. If they are willing to do the work, master the game, build the networks, and other key strategies, they will become successful.

Founder and Author: Alisa Smedley

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Contact the Author:

Alisa Smedley

(202) 630-8383


What is Minus 20 Publications?

The name is a reference from Alisa Smedley’s book, Embracing Your Story. In the book she tells her audience that “on the number line of life, I was born at -20.”  Alisa literally had twenty barriers that she was born into! She managed to work hard and learned how to reach the positive side of the number line of life.

       Alisa Smedley was born in Cleveland, Ohio into a life with 20 “built-in barriers” as she calls them. Poverty, teenage parents, violence, addiction, and a mild learning disability are a few of the many barriers that she faced and overcame.


       Alisa struggled through a childhood of poverty and living on welfare. She often missed thirty or more days of school each year due to not having clothes or shoes. A bright and creative child, she did well in school. When she was 10-years-old, Coach Smedley’s father was convicted of a crime and spent the next 15 years in prison.


       Since 2012 Coach Smedley has presented workshops around the country sharing best practices with others in the field of reentry. “Every decade of your life must have meaning. I have worked hard to overcome my past, plan for my future, while always staying focused in the moment.”  In 2013 she received the Excellence Award from the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. In 2019 she was awarded the President’s Award from the Correctional Education Association (CEA).


       In her book, Embracing Your Story, Alisa shares the pain, agony, and hopelessness experienced by a child in poverty. In a very revealing and honest manner, she includes the strategies that her family utilized to overcome their circumstances and work the family out of poverty. She offers a timely message for struggling families everywhere. 





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