By Kasey Dalman, Student Writer
Quotes of the Month
“Reading allows you to discover new worlds; writing allows you to create them.”
“Everyone has something to learn, and everyone has something to teach.”
“Our words can have power that we don’t think we have in everyday life. Anyone can make a difference!”
-Adora Svitak, 12 year old educator, speaker, and author
Amazing Educator, Speaker, and Author, Age 12
On the outside, Adora Svitak may seem like any other 12 year old kid. She loves reading Harry Potter. She loves hanging out with her friends and family. And she has big dreams for her future. But at only 12 years old, Adora is also an author of 3 books, a young educator teaching classes all over the country, and an engaging public speaker!
Adora’s passion for learning and teaching others is remarkable. And her desire to inspire other kids to make a difference is very encouraging! Starting as a writer at only 4 years old and turning into a successful educator and speaker makes Adora a pretty incredible 12 year old and our next Amazing Kid! of the Month.
Adora started writing at the age of four. By the time she was six years old, her mother had purchased her a laptop so that she could type her stories. In a short amount of time that same laptop would be home to over 300 of her short stories totaling a staggering 330,000 words!
So what made Adora become an avid writer? She simply loved reading and became inspired by other authors. Soon that blossomed into her need to experience reading from the other side. “From a young age I loved to imagine scenarios to act out, and this imagination came through in my writing. Ultimately, writing gave me a power and reach that I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she says.
The first book that Adora worked to get published was calledFlying Fingers. However, in the competitive industry, publishers were wary of taking on an author so young. Fortunately for Adora, she found a publisher who put trust in her. And at the age of 7, her book, Flying Fingers, was published! While the book contains fictional stories, it also is filled with instructions for parents and teachers on how to nurture a child’s love for writing. Later, Adora would go on to co-write a book with her sister titledDancing Fingers and write another book titled Yang in Disguise. Both would also be published!
Even though Adora admits to not following a structure when she writes, she does understand the importance of jumping out of your comfort zone. “The important thing is to not be scared of how ridiculous the idea is or whether you feel like you have ‘writer’s block,’” Adora advises. “Sometimes the strangest ideas can produce great stories.”
One of the World’s Youngest Educators
Books, books, books!
With such a strong view on the importance of literacy and an impressive writing resume, Adora began teaching in classrooms and giving school assemblies. From there it blossomed and Adora’s popularity spread rapidly! To keep up with the demand, Adora has had to teach by video conferencing and webcasting. Her topics range from descriptive writing to the importance of history. “Teachers and schedulers can also request a custom presentation,” Adora explains.
All of Adora’s hard work in teaching and writing has also been well acknowledged. “For my teaching, I’ve won the Berrien RESA (school district) award for Best Teacher and Expert three years in a row,” Adora says! Adora has also been featured on national talk shows like Oprah and Good Morning, America.
As a young educator, Adora sees a lot of changes coming up for the way education is run. “I think education is headed in an online direction,” she states. Also valuing the importance of face to face interaction, Adora thinks the best way for education would be a hybrid of traditional teaching and online teaching. Adora also hopes that education grows to become more universal. “I hope that education—particularly, quality education— becomes more open and accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford private schools or good neighborhoods.”
Adora’s Successful Speeches
Adora’s experience as a young educator led her into the world of public speaking. By speaking to students, Adora picked up more confidence and more skills to dive deeper into speaking publically! “One of my first appearances to a large crowd of adults was when I spoke at the Keller Williams Realty company’s ‘Inspirational Breakfast’ program,” Adora says.
From then on Adora’s success only grew exponentially larger. Adora recalls how her biggest and most memorable speaking engagement was at the TED conference, a three day convention filled with riveting speakers from Bill Gates to James Cameron. “I was thrilled and honored,” Adora says about speaking on the same stage as Gates and Cameron! “When you listen to Nobel Prize winners speak, walk past CEOs of multinational companies, and converse with founders, activists, and great mathematicians, it really makes you wonder: what am I doing here?”Her speech, “What Adults Can Learn from Kids,” was a charismatic speech on how adults should learn to dream and imagine the way children do! Drawing many laughs and applauds from the crowd, Adora was a natural up on the stage.
The Future for Adora
With such an impressive start, Adora’s future can only be filled with more positive things! Of course Adora will continue teaching and writing. But she’s got bigger things up her sleeves. “I am organizing an event, TEDxRedmond, this month (September 18) which I hope will foster discussion about the potential of kids to do great things and spread recognition of our abilities,” Adora explains. (Editor’s Note: The TEDx Redmond conference is the first all-kids TEDx conference, featuring over a dozen amazing kids speakers, including several past Amazing Kids! of the Month, including Jordan Romero, age 14, the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest, Zach Veach, a professional race car driver at age 15, driving safety advocate and Oprah’s No Phone Zone spokeskid, and the co-founders of the Pink Polka Dots, Maddy Berkman, age 15, Sierra Alef, age 15, and Kelsey Josund, age 16, who have raised over $150,000 for pediatric brain cancer research. The conference is free and open to kids from 6th to 12th grades. To register, visit the conference website at: http://www.tedxredmond.com)
As an even bigger goal, Adora hopes to further her work by bringing schools and online education to developing countries. “Ultimately, I want to make a difference and help others.” With all of Adora’s passion and will to help others we no doubt see a Nobel Prize in her future, once of the biggest goals she has set for herself!
How You Can Make a Difference
No matter what you are passionate about Adora recommends taking all the opportunities you can! “Remember to persevere, no matter what the challenges,” Adora says. “Whenever there’s a will, there’s a way.” As for reading and writing, even if you don’t enjoy it, Adora encourages you to “find out how you can make your mark on the world through reading and writing.”
“Our words can have power that we don’t think we have in everyday life,” Adora explains. “Anyone can make a difference!”
From Adora’s incredible skill of writing to her passion of teaching and inspiring others, she definitely deserves the spot as an Amazing Kid! of the Month. Keep up the good work, Adora!
Follow these links to learn more about Adora:
Check out this website for the TEDx Redmond event Adora is organizing: www.tedxredmond.com
Do you know an Amazing Kid! or a group of Amazing Kids? Click below to nominate them for our Amazing Kid! of the Month award.