Driven: Educator finds passion in writing children’s books

Driven

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A local educator laid off because of the pandemic is still finding a way to inspire children through her love of writing.  

The moment vice president Kamala Harris was inaugurated was not just historical, but inspirational for Dr. Jasmine Killibrew.  

“When I saw her getting sworn in, even at my age, you know, it was like, ‘Jasmine, you’re at this place but you still can follow your dreams as well,’” she said.  

It’s what inspired the Mobile-native to write her children’s book ‘There is a Girl Headed to the White House.’ 

Killibrew lost her principal job last year at a tuition-based school because of the pandemic. 

“I was like whoa, I’ve had this amazing year, what do I do now? Writing had been something I was passionate about since I was a child,” she said. 

She put pen to paper, using her passion to reach young people. The book has sold more than 5,000 copies nationwide since it was published back in August. 

“Sometimes we get lost in our careers and raising families and being a spouse and our relationship and our family, and we kind of forget our first love. So what it did is allow me to get back to something that I was passionate about that had been lying pretty dormant in my life,” she said.  

Not only does she write stories of inspiration but ones she said foster painful, yet necessary conversations.  

Killibrew’s new book ‘Don’t Forget My Name’ comes a year after the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was shot while jogging after being suspected of burglary by white neighbors in Georgia.  

The book aims to shine a light on racial injustice in America by highlighting victims of violence and police brutality.  

“One of the things that I’m trying to do is not just have representation in literature, that I felt I didn’t have in a positive light, but also take relevant situations and relevant circumstances like current events and bringing those things to light as well,” she said.  

As kids turn the pages, she wants the representation to be clear from the words to the images. Both books are illustrated by people of color. 

“I’m excited to be able to spark a conversation to tell their story so that young people can read about these situations so that history doesn’t repeat itself,” she said.  

If you want to get your hands a book from Dr. Killibrew, click the following links to purchase at Walmart, Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

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