I became aware of The ICONS Foundations via a Healthy Food drawing contest at Kozminski Elementary School in 4th grade.
I participated in this program to get the opportunity to enhance my creativity and writing skills in new venues.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience of authoring the book and having someone create visuals to make my writing come to life. I also enjoyed the cooking class (especially learning to make healthy jambalaya) and getting the opportunity to introduce Rev. Jesse Jackson at Rainbow PUSH.
Currently, I am enrolled in a doctoral program at Indiana University. I am hoping to get a tenure-track job in academia teaching Gender Studies. My early experiences with creative writing helped spark my interest in essay writing which led me to graduate school.
In the end, I encourage students to try something new even if it does not seem like it is in their wheelhouse. I was not the best drawer then and I am not the best drawer now but attempting to draw led to opportunities that opened doors for me and helped me find my early passions and talents. Once one finishes the drawing contest, students should start thinking of story ideas and should be open to the reality of constructive criticism on their writing. It is not that people are trying to tell you that your writing sucks—they are just there to help you realize the potential in what is already written
Doctoral Student, Indiana University
Hallie B. Alexander and Her 4th Grade Special Opportunities was written by Teresa Jackson, one of our first generation authors through the ICONS Foundation. Created by Claudie Phillips. Illustrated by: Holly A. Morris.
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