From July 14th-21st, Evernight and Evernight Teen will be donating full price/proceeds to the World Vision Education for Girls Fund.
When this email came across from my publisher it touched me deeply. It instantly made me think several things.
First, how amazing and generous my publisher is to take up this worthy cause and donate ALL proceeds in the name of education. Now I can get behind that idea and I hope you, dear reader, can as well. I'm reminded in so many ways why I am so fortunate to have Evernight Teen as the publisher behind my series, and am blessed by their willingness to pay it forward.
What does education mean to me? To answer that simply, education means so much.
Growing up in rural West Virginia and still a current resident, I'm witness everyday to how education can empower our youth. If you've ever watched the Songcatcher, it would put you in the mind of the culture where I live with a bit more modernization. I came from a family where the women married young, really no more than children themselves and education was an afterthought. My mother gave birth to her first child at sixteen, and her mother the same and my grandmother's mother as well.
I watched my mother struggle to raise five children and the stories of her early days, and my grandmother's struggles were enough to make me wish for more. Education not being the most important thing for a girl to obtain, marrying well was the priority emphasized in my household growing up.
I wanted both: to marry a man I loved and to gain an education so that I might overcome the struggles generations worth of the women in my family endured.
When I embarked on my journey I had no idea where to turn, how to begin, how I was going to afford a secondary education... As luck would have it my first wish came true. I did marry a man I loved deeply, and still do. And as it would turn out he came from a much different culture than I did.
His grandmother was an English teacher, and she was a fearsome woman to behold. She lived through the Depression, raised two sons, went to college at a time when women truly struggled to obtain education, and she came out a survivor. And in all her struggles she came away with the knowledge that education and hard work really do payoff. Having grown up so very different than my husband, his grandmother's constant encouragement was inspiring, touching, and gave me someone to look up to.
She made me believe that coming from generations worth of women who were never fortunate enough to have the value of education pressed upon them, didn't matter. My husbands grandmother made me believe that regardless of how you were raised, or where you came from, what mattered is what kind of life you wanted and to pursue your dreams regardless of the difficult path in front of you. My husbands family was instrumental in the constant encouragement that it takes to have one break the chain and start anew.
I am proud of where I came from. While education might not have been perceived as important, love has always been apart of my childhood years.
My day finally came. In 2005 I graduated as a Licensed Practical Nurse and in 2008 I graduated from Davis and Elkins College with a degree in nursing. Knowledge is empowerment. Your mind is your greatest weapon and education sharpens your mind like a whetstone and file sharpens a sword.
How proud I am to call Evernight Teen my publisher! Help us raise money for this worthy cause by buying a book or two in the name of education!