Type of Project: Artistic and Creative Endeavors: Writing and publishing a Children’s Book
For my STEP Signature Project, I decided to use my artistic and creative abilities in writing and helping illustrate a children’s book. This children’s book is aimed at teaching four to six year old children how to write their numbers correctly in a fun way. Once I wrote and helped illustrate this book, I brought it to the hands of a publishing company and am in the process of getting published.
Because of this opportunity Ohio State gave to me, I was able to transform more than I could have imagined. I always knew that I wanted to create a career in healthcare so following that route has limited the other activities I wanted to be involved in. However, STEP allowed me to go out of the box and reach for something that was completely different than my healthcare dreams; it was a dream to write. Because of STEP, I was able to transform myself into an entrepreneur, an author, and an artist. I would have never been able to become any of these three things without STEP’s help. Moreover, I appreciate and thank this organization for allowing me to open up my horizons and allowing me to change the world that those awed- eyed toddlers and me live in. I hope that like STEP, I too can make a difference.
I created many relationships and networks as my STEP Signature Project progressed. My STEP mentor was my biggest advocate. She guided me into wanting to even write and publish a book and helped in any way she could on getting me there. She answered any of my nettlesome questions even after my STEP experience was over. Also, I networked within the publishing company I chose. I was able to network far beyond what I had imagined for my college experience. Above all, these relationships affected me. Because of STEP, I was able to broaden my network and as a result, it had changed the way I interact and act. It gave me the courage to experience outside of what was comfortable for me.
Aside from my networks, I perfected my organizational skills in this experience. I had deadlines I set for myself and I abided by them. I created a demo book within a month’s time span so that I can have something to hold, go back to, and to show to anyone interested in my book so far. When I had questions about the creation of the book, I was able to call the companies and discuss my confusions. My favorite story while enduring this opportunity permanently resides in me now: I was on the phone with Shutterfly whist asking them questions about how to change the color of the background. The man on the phone was from Texas and had a thick southern accent. He yelped with glee when he started to glance over my creation. He stated that once it was published, he would buy it for his three-year-old son in hopes of teaching him his numbers. He even showed his other coworkers who were passing by. It was the most powerful moment I had in this experience. It showed me that I can make a difference across the country; to people I hadn’t even known and that my book was already speaking volumes. I had supporters everywhere and was so excited to continue on my journey.
However, obstacles did arrive at times. I struggled with finding a publishing company I truly desired. I did my research and found that many of the publishing companies I had wanted prior were either scams or difficult to work with. I also was finding that the more I wanted with the book, the more expensive it was going to be. These specific obstacles alone had transformed me. They taught me to truly look deep into the Internet’s offerings and see who was real, who was phony, and who had what I wanted. I became more of a businesswoman than I thought.
This transformation is significant to me because it has shaped me for my future endeavors. I now am able to teach children how to write their numbers correctly. Because of STEP, I have created a teacher and author within myself. I am able to show children a project that I created with a sympathetic hand. I am able to write even more stories because STEP has opened up that opportunity for me. This experience has changed me because it has changed my route; I have always wanted to be in the medical field because I enjoyed helping others. But now, I can help others in a different, more unique way like a children’s book. Thank you STEP for allowing me to experience something different, demanding, and overall remarkable.