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Cary woman part of comic book series to inspire children

Project focuses on stories of authors who overcame obstacles in life

Kathy Young, a former special education teacher in District 300, recently released the book "Smart on the Inside," which conveys a strong message of having a positive attitude, working hard and never giving up.
Kathy Young, a former special education teacher in District 300, recently released the book "Smart on the Inside," which conveys a strong message of having a positive attitude, working hard and never giving up.

CARY – If there was anything Kathy Young, a retired special education teacher and local author, wants people to know, it’s that no matter the obstacles in life, anyone can be successful.

After meeting with representatives from Round Table Companies and other authors who wrote about overcoming obstacles, the Cary resident is slated to contribute to a planned comic book called “The Crusaders.”

Round Table Companies, a book publishing company with an office in the Chicago area, wants to create the comic book based on the life stories of seven authors who overcame obstacles to be successful. The authors plan to contribute to the book.

“They want to make a difference,” Young said. “Each of the authors [has] a story they want to share because they overcame obstacles.”

Young co-wrote “Smart on the Inside” with Eileen Gold Kushner, who overcame a learning disability to work her way up to eventually own three McDonald’s franchises.

Young’s character in the graphic novel would be The Mentor who has the expertise and ability to help children and adults find their true potential.

“Kids like to read comic books,” Young said. “Why can’t we base them on real people who did things in life.”

Corey Blake, the CEO and president of Round Table Companies, which is coordinating the project, said all of the authors have overcome something, whether it be childhood cancer, being around drugs and gangs, sexual abuse or bullying growing up. Some of the people featured now run successful businesses.

“Our authors, we consider them real-life heroes,” Blake said.

The project has been in the works since August, when the authors met for a retreat.

The book would be geared for children in fifth grade and older.

“Kids need to be given the gift of recognizing that being a superhero is a choice you make,” Blake said in a news release. “It’s a choice these authors made. It’s important to recognize your superpowers and to know that you have to choose whether or not you’re going to use them.”

To help move the project forward Round Table Companies is looking for donations instead of asking the authors to contribute. They hope to have $35,000 raised by May 31.

The project itself could become a series, said David Cohen, vice president of Round Table.

“We can potentially have 3,000 people touching this project through donations, and give people the experience to jump in and participate on a project like this,” Cohen said.

If all goes to plan and enough money is raised, the project would be due out by March. The company plans to donate 3,000 copies to various organizations.

Young said she plans to donate her allotted copies to Ronald McDonald Houses in the Chicago area, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the John Corcoran Foundation Literacy Centers in Colorado and California.

For information about the comic book, or to donate, go to:

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