At just 15 years old, a teenager from Westlake is already a published author. Her mission to help others is #SomethingGood.
Karlayna Platt, a sophomore at Westlake Academy, just published her first book last week called "Inspire Your Power."
It's a passion project born from her journey with dyslexia.
Platt was diagnosed with the learning disorder in the 3rd grade.
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“My parents thought I was struggling a little because I would get frustrated. I have a twin sister and she was a little ahead of me,” she said. “I was really confused. I didn’t really know what was going on but I just remember being frustrated with myself and not understanding why I couldn’t pick up topics as fast as everyone.”
With the help of teachers, family and friends, Karlayna has worked hard to make sure her diagnoses didn't stop her from living life to the fullest. Outside of classes, she is active on her high school volleyball team and does community work through the National Charity League.
And more recently, she was able to turn her challenges into a way to help others. This year, she was assigned a school project on any topic of interest.
What started out as a journal filled with her writings transformed into a full-fledged book.
“As I was going through it, I realized that I was creating something more for empowerment and confidence. So it just turned into this book that is really to inspire children and to let them understand that they can do anything that they want," she said. “It’s incredible. I never thought that I would become a published author!”
Her new book features elements of reading and journaling and is meant to engage students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia.
She says her goal is to empower those students and fill them with hope and joy in their own lives.
She wants other children to know they’re not alone.
“That I believe in them and they can get through anything that they put their mind to. Not to let dyslexia define you. It is more of a strength than a weakness,” she said.
Platt is donating book proceeds to local educational nonprofit, Chance To Soar. The charity has helped send an E-book of 'Inspire Your Power' to 60 schools so far.
“I’m proud that she wants to give back. She knows the confidence struggles she’s had in the past. And to pay that forward to kids so that they can know that they can get through it," said Platt's mother, Ronica Holcombe. "I think it’s even more special that it just started out as a school project and then the more she did it, the more she realized she could make an impact."
Westlake Academy has also pledged to buy her book for every child diagnosed with dyslexia at the school for years to come.