Motel Drive Child Prostitution Documentary

March 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dozens gathered in San Francisco Tuesday night for the premiere of a movie about a Valley woman who has made an amazing turnaround.The documentary "Carissa" tells the story of Carissa Phelps. The Coalinga native once worked as a child prostitute on Fresno's Motel Drive.

After several stints in juvenile hall, a mentor helped inspire her to turn her life around. Last summer, she graduated with a Masters in Law and Business from UCLA.

After Tuesday night's screening, Phelps told the crowd about her latest challenge, turning around Motel Drive, an area that once haunted her. "The neighbors being organized is one of the first steps in the economic development and it's a long process," said Phelps.

Carissa's story has received national attention, including an appearance on Good Morning America.

Phelps also has plans to write a book.