She's One Smart Teen! Meet The Girl Who Created Book Series Inspired By Friend With Disability
She wanted her bestie to have someone to look up to – so she created books with a new and different cast of heroes.
Like most best friends, Trinity Jagdeo and Alexus Dick watch movies together, have sleepovers and gossip about boys. Alexus just happens to have a rare degenerative disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 that keeps her in the hospital for long periods of time.
As the girls grew up together and Trinity witnessed the pain and isolation her friend endured on a daily basis, she found herself wishing Alexus had a hero that looked like her to help her get through the tough times.
Trinity wanted to create books with main characters that her friend Alexus could look up to. wecant2wecan/Facebook
First, Trinity reached out to Disney with the suggestion to include more superheroes with disabilities in their films. When they never responded to her letters and emails, the then 17-year-old decided to take matters into her own hands.
"I wrote them letters, made Youtube videos," Trinity told Today. "I didn't receive a response, so I decided to create my own non-profit, and I began writing and illustrating my own books that featured local special-needs kids."
Here's a recent interview Trinity did with Zane, Alexus' younger brother, who's the inspiration for one of her books...
Following in her mother's entrepreneurial footsteps, Trinity did some research and bought an illustration pad to attach to her computer. She used Amazon's publishing tools to assemble the books and get them ready for purchase.
"I put the entire thing together, and they'd print it out for me," she said.
Trinity's books can be purchased on Amazon or through her non-profit, From We Can't 2 We Can. wecant2wecan/Facebook
Trinity has written three books so far that feature characters like Alexus and her younger brother Zane, who also has spinal muscular atrophy. "Zappy Zane" tells the story of a young superhero who uses his natural senses to help save a school.
"I love all of the kids I write about, and they all inspire me," Trinity said.
The name of Trinity's non-profit is "From We Can't To We Can," and aside from writing and publishing books, the organization hosts fashion shows and fundraisers to raise awareness for the special needs and disability community.
Trinity has been working hard to bring awareness to the special needs and disability community. wecant2wecan/Facebook
Before the pandemic Trinity spoke at high schools, clubs and colleges where she encouraged students to follow their passions and "be the change they wish to see." Now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of her fundraising and speaking events take place online.
Trinity and Alexus are now both 19 now and are still best friends. Trinity hopes to write more books with people like Alexus and Zane as the stars and get them on to the shelves in bigger stores like Barnes and Noble.
Alexus says that Trinity's books have been an inspiration to her and her family. wecant2wecan/Facebook
As for their own super powers, Alexus said she'd like to have the power to fly and Trinity wishes she could telecommute – especially in the age of Covid-19 when traveling has become more of a chore.
These young women are already superheroes in our book. The rest of the world just needs to catch up!