Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Tegdra Samuel is an author, advocate, educator, singer, songwriter and public speaker. She began her career as an elementary school teacher after graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations, and a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching from Belmont University. Tegdra started her organization, The Gifts of Mobility Foundation and her company Inspired Gifts & Talents Publishing, to connect with families of children with disabilities as her daughter, Jazzmin, was born with cerebral palsy. After experiencing many challenges in Jazzmin's schools and virtually all areas of her life, she decided to become an advocate for people with disabilities to help lend a voice to the voiceless. Tegdra currently resides in Florida and her hope is that through sharing her story, giving encouragement, providing equipment, and rendering support to families, that she can not only be a helping hand, but the face of turning challenges into triumphant joy!
What inspired you to write a children’s book?
After 12 years of teaching in elementary schools and being a mother of three children, one with cerebral palsy, I was inspired to share my story on a level that would educate and bring awareness to all age groups.
Little Sister Comes Home is the first of the Big Brother Little Sister Series that was written to take you through life's experiences with a family raising a child with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by damage to the brain before or at birth. It affects body movement and muscle coordination that often leads to a child needing a wheelchair and adaptive equipment. These books were created to not only educate the public, but also encourage families that have children with special needs.
Name a challenge you’ve faced throughout your journey of publishing your book, “Little Sister Comes Home”. How did you overcome it and RISE?
The first challenge was just sitting down and writing out the thoughts that were in my head for so long. I had the idea to write the children’s books for years, but life and its many demands would always win over me sitting and writing. One day, however, as I was looking through some family photos, the idea of the series of books started to form again. I decided to organize the photos into stories and that is how I began to write the books.
How do you balance being a mother, business professional, and author?
For me to balance being a mother, business professional, and author, I must stay prayerful, asking and listening to God’s guidance so I am sure to be in His timing and purpose. I write my plans and visions down and then pray for the order of when I should do them. I try to balance my time so that no areas are lacking or missing anything.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
I would like to encourage all aspiring authors to make writing a part of your daily routine. If you have a book idea in mind, schedule time to work on it and set goals and deadlines to reach each goal. It is also helpful to have a friend that will hold you accountable to those deadlines and look over your work to make sure you are completing your goals.
Where can readers purchase your book? What is the best way to connect with you? (Social media networks)
Little Sister Comes Home is available at:
Part of the proceeds from the book will go to help children with cerebral palsy.
A great way to connect with me is through our website www.igtpublishing.com where you can send a message on the Contact Us page or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out some of our other work.