From social worker to foster parent, and now to an author, Evelyn Coker gets inspiration to pen a book for young girls.
Where are you located?
What did you create?
My recent creation is a journal for teen girls called ‘Get L.I.T.’ which is a Teen Girl’s Journal to Learning Intentional Tools for Positive Personal Development. I am a mental health professional who happens to love reading and writing. My dream is to merge my love for mental health awareness and literature to impact lives.
How do you define your work?
I am an innate helper and have learned over time this happens for me through different mediums. One day I may be the therapist. Another I may be in front of a classroom or coaching one of my staff members. Other times, I can be motivating a stranger. Moving forward, it could be any of those things and my writings. I want to serve and help people be the best versions of themselves however I can.
How did you come up with the idea?
I was the foster parent of my younger cousin and started to wonder who she would talk to if she felt she couldn’t talk to me about things. That’s where the idea for a book and journal companion for teen girls started. I also worked with teen pregnant and parenting moms at the time and witnessed many broken relationships with my clients and their mothers. So, it was something I always wanted to do, but earlier this year it all came together and I birthed Get L.I.T.
Who inspires you? How?
My inspiration comes from my children. My cousin affectionately calls me her Mama-Cousin (MC). Even though I didn’t give birth to her, I love her like my own. She and my other babies inspire me to be a better woman and mother. I want to share that with other young girls and women.
When did you recognize your talent?
I’ve always loved the arts, but I knew I would become a writer in third grade. My favorite teacher, Ms. Joyce O’Quinn gave our class an assignment to write and illustrate our own story. She gave us a blank hardcover book of about twenty pages and I just remember being so excited. My story was about an officer who rescued some mischievous students on a field trip at the zoo. On the inside cover, I proclaimed that I would be a New York Times Best Selling Author. I am still reaching for that goal!
How did you create an audience or community that appreciates your work?
I’ve learned that the audience is there, but I had to learn how to engage them. My way of doing that was to conduct learning sessions where teen girls taught me what issues are important to them. I learned from them directly what they would want to read in a book or see in different products geared towards them. Luckily, many of my thoughts were on point and it was an easy match. Now I just connect with colleagues, schools, and organizations that serve teen girls and I almost have an instant connection.
Which of your accomplishments give you joy?
Writing Get L.I.T. and restarting my practice gives me the most joy. I honestly feel that I am fulfilling my purpose. The journal was truly a labor of love and I have received so much positive feedback. I am excited to do more and help teen girls grow into adulthood.
How to find Evelyn
Ark Republic is ending the year with a series of mixed-media stories of hope, empowerment, leadership, courage, brilliance family and affirmation. We want to enter into the New Year with a community collaboration called, “The Light Series.”
The Light Series is a month-long exploration of all things light and love. So, we invite you to walk with us. Even, we ask that you participate in highlighting those in your community who need some shine, or even yourself, your business or your superpower.
Our first week, December 1 to December 7, we will feature stories of innovators in our communities. Next, from December 8 to December 15, we share stories of inspiration from our entrepreneurs. Afterwards, from December 16 to December 25, we explore spiritual, religious and family traditions, as well as, winter rituals. Finally, from December 26 to January 1, we will end the series with stories of affirmation and forward movement in this next cycle, 2020.
If you would like to submit a personal essay, article, video, poem/spoken word or other media presentation of your work, just provide basic information and answer at least five of the questions. Once finished, send your answers and a high resolution picture(s) to the following: [email protected].
Ark Republic is an independent media company that provides a platform for free-thinking folk to tell stories as complex and colorful as possible. We need your help to keep the wheels churning and the stories flowing. Please become and member or donate to an organization dedicated to giving you stories that keep you informed.