PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants young people considered to be at-risk of failure to set high goals for themselves, stay honest and focused and learn from mentors.

LePage related some of the details of his well-known rise from the streets to become governor as part of LearningWorks’ “Community Conversations” series Wednesday, before about 150 people in Portland.

The Portland Press Herald says the 62-year-old LePage carries a 1960 50-cent piece to commemorate when he left home after his father beat him so badly he was hospitalized.

He spent part of the next few years on the streets.

LePage eventually got into college and then became general manager of a retail chain before he was elected mayor of Waterville. Last year he became governor.