Former Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Julián Castro explores race and poverty in his memoir, “An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream,” set to be released Oct. 16.

Castro shares his family’s story and how he was able to rise above challenges to reach the American Dream.

He traces his family’s resiliency back two generations, when his grandmother crossed the border as a 7-year-old undocumented orphan girl, grew up without her parents, and later struggled to raise her daughter, Rosie, as a single mother.

He explores the reasons he was not expected to overcome his circumstances: He and his twin, Joaquin, were born to unmarried parents, raised by a single mother, and bounced around rental homes in a San Antonio barrio. And he looks to the lessons and inspiration he received from his mother, Rosie, who was an activist for Mexican-American civil rights and fought against prejudice in her community.

A graduate of Stanford and Harvard Law School, Castro details his setbacks—including nearly losing his home to foreclosure after he quit his law firm job and losing his first campaign for San Antonio mayor—and his triumphs—being elected to public office at the age of 26 and becoming his hometown’s mayor at 35. He also discusses the transition to the national stage—being the first mayor and Latino as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, leaving Texas for Washington, D.C., to serve as 16th HUD secretary under the Obama administration in 2014, and being short-listed as Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016.

“An Unlikely Journey” has been published by Little, Brown and Co. and is available in hardcover for $28.