OAK GROVE HEIGHTS, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 native returned to her old stomping grounds to share her story of growing up in rural Arkansas and how she discovered her passion in life.
Author Erica Swallow spoke to 5th graders at Oak Grove Middle School, which she used to attend when it was known as Stanford Elementary School, sharing her story about when she first discovered her interest in writing and how her 5th-grade teacher Mrs.Tamra Powell, who now teaches at OGMS, inspired her to pursue it.
"I'm really excited to be here and see other 5th graders in the moments of where I didn't know at the time I was going to be inspired but looking back at my journey, I know that's exactly where it started," Swallow said. "I hope through my talk, or Mrs. Powell, or other teachers' lessons that they too are getting inspired to do amazing things right about this time of their lives."
Swallow began a children's book series entitled Entrepreneur Kid, encouraging young kids to look beyond their surroundings and explore the opportunities available to them.
"For kids that maybe have other passions, I hope that they'll think, 'I can actually start doing this now,'" Swallow said. "I'm in the 5th grade, I don't have to wait until I'm grown up, I can actually do something now to make myself closer to that passion, that thing I want to do with my life."
Swallow graduated from Paragould High School and went on to attend New York University.
Her work has also been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and more.
Swallow will continue her book tour across the state with an appearance on April 29 at the Clinton Presidential Center's Bridge to the Future Festival and will begin a two-week book tour in China in May with her illustrator Li Zeng.
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