Broadneck High School graduate creates book to encourage others

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“Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important….capture the good times… develop from the negatives. And if things don’t work out, take another shot.” —An excerpt from Make a Difference: The Encouragement Project

Elizabethe Caswell Overton was selected as “Most Likely to Brighten Your Day” by her fellow Class of 2015 Broadneck High School classmates. It’s not hard to figure out how Overton earned the distinction. She always possessed a friendly smile, greeted others warmly, and was creating and passing out “encouragement notes” to her fellow students to cheer them up.

Overton saw the effect her words and actions had on her classmates. This reaction prompted her to create a book entitled, Make a Difference: The Encouragement Project.

“During my last few years of high school, I noticed a lot of my peers and friends needed encouragement,” said Overton. “They felt they were under a lot of pressure concerning their grades and pressure from society to be perfect.

I wanted them to know that they were loved, and provided them with words of encouragement. I thought about it, and said, ‘what if I created these words in the form of a book that they could take with them when they headed off to college?’ So I decided to create the book.

It took me about a year to finish it.”

Overton gave a complimentary copy of the colorful, 16-page book to her fellow graduates following their recent graduation.

“I am a Christian and very spiritual,” said Overton. “Faith played a major role in my writing the book. I wanted people to know that they are loved. God loves everyone. Why can’t we? I believe we can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

She added, “The Bible tells us about our gifts. We can use those gifts to change the world. Some people have the gift of prophecy, others teaching, while others may have the gift to lead. My gift is encouragement. You can inspire people with your words. I encourage people to go out into the world and use their gifts.”

The book contains advice, quotes, poems, and a prayer.

“I included The Serenity Prayer, which is my own personal inspiration,” said the 18-year-old. “I included the Serenity Prayer to let people know they can be a hero even though they don’t have super powers and to let them know they are beautiful. One of my favorite quotes in the book includes one about how butterflies can’t see how beautiful their wings are, but people can. People are like that too.”

She added, “The book also includes personal advice and different types of encouragement. I tell people it’s okay not to be perfect. Everyone has issues and makes mistakes— there is a silver lining. I also tell people that although it’s hard to get back up again after they’ve had a rough time, they can do it. The greatest accomplishment is rising after you fall.”

Overton says feedback concerning the book has been very ‘encouraging.’

“I have distributed 250 copies of the book,” said Overton. “Everyone loves it. Right now, we are working on developing a website for the book. I would like the book to go anywhere and everywhere.”

Overton will be attending Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania this fall. She says she plans to become a counselor.

“The book contains beautiful things letting people know they are loved,” she said. “I honestly believe that if people read the book, they would see there’s more to life than what they are going through. They can overcome it and make it through. My ultimate hope is that the book encourages them to stay alive, and keep fighting the good fight.”

For more information about her book, you can email Overton at optimistikittycat@gmail.com