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A BULLY'S DISGUISE
THE DAY MOHAN FOUND HIS CONFIDENCE
Anaya Lee Willabus
Anaya Lee Willabus is a 12-year old, award winning author, poet and visionary who enjoys reading and playing sports. Anaya was born and raised in Brooklyn, where she resides with her parents and two siblings.
At the age of two, Anaya was taught to read. Thereafter, she began to memorize books, demonstrating an acutely photographic memory. Anaya immerses herself in reading books of all genres, throughout the year. During the Summer, she grew very fond of the summer reading initiative promoted by then Assemblyman, Alan Maisel. Mr. Maisel's "Summer Reading Program" proved to be a motivational challenge, as each year, she sought to surpass the previous year's book total. Anaya reads more than forty books during the Summer. To maintain her comprehension skills, her parents challenged her to write detailed essays on many of the books she enjoyed and to illustrate her favorite part. With such development, Anaya enjoyed writing and expressing her opinion of her findings and further build on her literacy skills.
Although Anaya thoroughly enjoys reading, she believes that it is incredibly important to have a balanced and fit lifestyle! She enjoys spending time playing her favorite sport, soccer. She also practices Shotokan Karate. In her free time, she plays with her dolls, goes to the park and spends time with her family. Anaya aspires to be a well-known author and teacher when she grows up.
Anaya's first book, "The Day Mohan Found His Confidence", was written after her inaugural trip to her parents' homeland of Guyana, South America in April of 2014. Upon her return, she started jotting notes from her visit, documenting cultural differences. Her composition of writings seemed worthy of her parents' attention and was thereafter drafted on the computer. For over a year, Anaya's writer's-flow, which happened at any time, continually developed into her first published chapter book on May 30, 2015. This development crowned her as the first child in US history to write and publish a chapter book at eight years old.
In the Summer of 2015, Anaya went on an extensive three-week long book tour which included Canada and Guyana, South America and several schools and churches around the USA to promote and motivate other children to continue to 'read' and 'give back'. Also, over 500 books were donated to the less fortunate children in Guyana, South America while visiting.
Here are some of Anaya’s awards and accolades:
In June, 2015, Anaya was at the state capital in Albany, New York, where she was honored with a 'legislative resolution' from New York State Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud, for her achievements and commitment to literacy. She later received a 'Citation' from New York City Councilman, Mr. Mathieu Eugene.
On August 30, 2015, Anaya received a ‘Certificate of Achievement’ from the Guyana Day of Brooklyn Association. On September 2, 2015, she went on to earn the Guyana Cultural Association Literary Contribution to Guyanese Heritage Award,’ (New York Chapter). On February 25, 2016, Anaya was recognized by the Brooklyn Borough President, Mr. Eric Adams. She received the 'Black History Month Award' as part of the celebrations in highlighting African Americans who play a significant role in Brooklyn. On June 25, 2016 Anaya was appointed the first US ‘Youth Global Editor in Chief and Coordinator’ of Forum Children’s Magazine. June 24, 2016 two Merit Awards: 1. Participating in the ‘Black History Month Essay Contest’ and 2. Winner of the ‘Women’s History Month Poetry Contest'. On July 20, 2016, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries presented Anaya with a ‘Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition’ for her outstanding contribution to her community.
Among Anaya’s many recognitions from her school are: the ‘Student of the Month’ and ‘Lead by Example’ awards for performance and commitment to excellence. Anaya takes exceptional pride in her annual fundraising efforts for the St. Jude’s Cancer Research Center. She is always one of the top five earners from her school and was the Top Earner for the 2015/2016 school year.
Anaya appeared in many newspapers, as well as, on radio and television shows, locally, nationally and internationally. She appeared on Fox 5 News, PIX 11 News, NY Daily News, News 12, BRIC TV, HOT 97 (Ebro in the Morning), WGN Radio 720, Chicago, WSYR 570 Radio, The Canarsie Courier, and many more. Many celebrities, including: Kelly Rowland, Yandy Smith, Amy Poehler, Debra Cox, and and others have shared Anaya's achievements. Many blogs: Huffington Post, Atlanta Black Star, Brown Girls Collective, Guyanese Girls Rock and countless others posted, shared and supported Anaya's initiative.
Upon the request of the First Lady of Guyana, South America, Anaya met with Mrs. Sandra Granger. Since the publication of her books, Anaya has met many political leaders, social activists, community leaders and many more to speak on the importance of literacy. While Anaya feels extremely blessed and fortunate to have met with such illustrious dignitaries, Anaya's primary goal is to inspire other children, like herself, to strive for success and to never give up on their dreams. She believes that children should always incorporate reading into their daily lives.
Anaya's second book, "A Bully's Disguise" was launched on June 24, 2016 at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Both of Anaya’s books are available on Amazon.com and at some Brooklyn public libraries.
Anaya’s Non-Profit, ‘The Stalwarts Youth Corporation’ was founded in June 2016 with Anaya’s initiative to promote reading and writing to children. Its mission also includes activities to encourage and foster children’s academic improvement through several art, poetry, essay and other contests, so that they may showcase their artistic and literary talents.
As Writer and Editor for 'Forum' Kids magazine which is published in New Zealand, Poland, USA and England monthly, Anaya’s articles can be viewed online. She has the privilege of interviewing many political leaders and celebrities. Her first assignment as a reporter was to interview former president of Poland, Honorable Lech Walesa. All of Anaya’s monthly articles are available at the following link: https://antinanco-sn.net/archives/forum-teen-august-2016
Anaya is a straight ‘A’ student and is in the Gifted & Talented class, but in staying true to her passion, she finds it incredibly fulfilling to share her abilities. This year, she has added the committment of being the tutor, to a second-grade student, during her lunch time once per week. She is also a member of the school's color guard, and proudly carries the flag during school events.
In May, 2016 ‘Justice Clothing’ appointed Anaya as one of their Youth Ambassadors. This is an initiative which promotes young girls to aspire to greatness and follow their dreams (Girls with Heart). Anaya made a series of videos which were posted on the Justice Clothing YouTube with hopes of empowering other young girls.
In speaking with Anaya, she emphasizes that this generation, while seemingly inundated by technology, is full of children like her, who still believe in the traditional way of learning...the reading of a good book!
Anaya Lee Willabus' mottos are, "Reading and Writing will always be a part Of Life" and "Continue to Dream Big"!
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