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Nelson Beats The Odds Paperback – August 21, 2015
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About the Author
Ronnie Sidney, II, MSW, is a father, therapist, author, professional speaker and entrepreneur. He received a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. Ronnie was raised in Tappahannock, Virginia, and attended Essex County Public Schools (ECPS). While attending ECPS, he spent several years in Special Education after being diagnosed with a learning disability. The stigmatization of special education created a lack of interest in school. Nevertheless, he graduated from Essex High School in 2001, but with a 1.8 GPA. With limited options regarding four-year colleges, he decided to enroll in J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia. The following year, he transferred to Old Dominion University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services in 2006. Ronnie's early academic challenges ignited a passion within him to pursue social justice and to work with the youth. He has spent over eight years in the mental health and academic counseling fields and currently works as an outpatient therapist at the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board (MP-NNCSB). Ronnie is an active member of the Richmond Association of Black Social Workers (RABSW). He founded Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words, an expressive writing program for offenders. He implemented the program at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia for six months before expanding the program into an LLC. The company's mission is to improve participants' social, emotional, and physical health through therapeutic writing and dialogue. In 2015, Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words, LLC published "Nelson Beats The Odds", an inspiring graphic novel that celebrates friendship, resilience and empowerment. Nelson, the books' main character, overcomes his learning disability and ADHD diagnosis with the help of his parents and special education teacher. After releasing "Nelson Beats The Odds", Ronnie was inspired to develop the Nelson Beats The Odds Comic Creator app for iOS and Android. Ronnie created the app so that children and adults could share inspirational photos and stories about how they beats the odds on social media. For more information visit the author's website at www.creative-medicine.com.
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I appreciate the fact that the main characters are children of color, but they are relatable to all people, particularly those affected by learning disabilities. It is also encouraging to see that people like Richard Branson, one of the most successful moguls in the world, was predicted by one of his teachers to either be a total failure in life or a massive success. That is something I never would've known had I not read this book.
The statistics and quotes are as impactful as the actual story. Perhaps, the author will publish longer books that may be marketed to older children (and even adults). Just as I was engrossed in the story, it was over! I love the illustrations as well. They are beautiful. I definitely recommend this book.