Katy Dee pens her teenage struggles in a new book
If you had just three bags to fit all your belongings into and knew you were never going back home, what would you put in them?
This was the dilemma Katy Dee faced more than 20 years ago when she decided to run away from home, aged 16.
Mrs Dee, now a 37-year-old author and broadcaster, wanted to escape her abusive family home in search of a better life. She has now chronicled her journey in her new book, Hey Little Missy. In it, she explains how she gained a full scholarship at Jewish boarding school Carmel College in Oxfordshire.
Mrs Dee, who moved to the Netherlands five years ago, tells People: "I borrowed £20 from my older brother, rang up the school and asked them for an interview. I went along with all my certificates and secured a place."
She says: "When I first started writing this book, it started out as memoirs from my days at Carmel but I soon realised that my struggles and the time I spent there shaped me into a stronger woman.
"It became a tale of courage, endurance, and what can be accomplished under duress."
After Carmel, Mrs Dee went on to become a radio presenter, hosting a children's show on international station Spectrum 558 AM.
Today, she runs a media communications company and is the lead singer of European dance/pop act Kandystand.
She hopes the book will empower others to "take the journey from neglect to respect, and build a bridge to a better life."
Hey Little Missy is published by Lulu