Hanoi, Vietnam (CNN) - Five years ago, Pham Binh Minh was a 15-year-old spending his nights on the streets of Hanoi, Vietnam's capital.
With his father dead and his mother too poor to adequately feed or clothe him, Pham survived by collecting and selling scrap.
"I didn't have time to make friends," he said. "The friends I did have ... would take me to do work that wasn't good. ... We would rob and steal from people. ... I was scared I would get arrested. I was scared people would hit me. I felt unsafe."
It's an all-too-common story in Hanoi, where many Vietnamese youth - often poor children from outside the city - seek opportunity. If they're lucky, they're able to get by working odd jobs such as shining shoes or selling trinkets.
"Kids come to the streets hoping that it'll be better than living in poverty in the countryside, but often they find that things are much worse for them here," said Michael Brosowski, whose nonprofit foundation helps Vietnamese street children turn their lives around.
It was through Brosowski's Blue Dragon Children's Foundation that Pham was able to graduate high school and enroll in college. Since 2004, Blue Dragon has helped more than 350 Vietnamese children get off the streets and into school.
This week, we're taking an in-depth look at States in Crisis. Across the country, one thing they seem to have in common is a sea of red ink.
To that end, the U.S. Conference of Mayors is now on record, calling for an early end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They say the money spent on the wars should be put to use at home.
This morning on American Morning, Kiran Chetry speaks with Madison, Wisconsin Mayor Paul Soglin and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett about their support for the U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution to end the wars.
This week, CNN's In Depth series, "The CNN Freedom Project," is highlighting the growing efforts to stop the trade and exploitation of human beings.
This morning, Linda Smith, founder and president of Shared Hope International and former US Representative, talks with Carol Costello about her organization's new billboard campaign, "Do You Know Lacy?."
Aimed at raising awareness of child sex trafficking by focusing on the plight of Lacy, one young girl who represents the thousands of children being prostituted in the US and around the world, the campaign will soon launch nationally.
This morning, the FDA announced their final choices for the large graphic warning labels to be put on cigarette packs starting in the fall of 2012. Covering half of the pack, these images aim to show what cigarette smoke does to your body.
Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins Kiran Chetry and Carol Costello on American Morning to reveal the selection of images and to explain how effective similar anti-smoking warning labels have been in other countries.
Parents these days seem obsessed with keeping their kids happy, constantly feeling the need to prevent them from experiencing disappointment. What effect does this have on kids?
During her training to become a therapist, writer Lori Gottlieb noticed that many young adults were seeking therapy despite having "perfectly happy" childhoods. This led her to conclude that by keeping our children from feeling doubt and defeat when they're young, we're preventing them from being able to find their own way as adults.
Gottlieb joins Kiran Chetry this morning to discuss this phenomenon, detailed in her new article in The Atlantic, "How to Land Your Kid in Therapy."
Well-known "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" stylist Carson Kressley is back with a new TV show!
Kressley joins Kiran Chetry and Carol Costello on set this morning to talk about the concept behind his new show "Carson Nation," which premieres on June 25th at 10pm on OWN.
In the show, Kressley travels across the US to find people deserving of make-overs, which he calls "make-betters," stressing that he hopes to transform people's lives, both inside and out.