New Book Features Local Teen

Cole Hayward and Lee Thibeault (submitted)

A new inspirational book featuring 50 incredible stories of amazing youth in Ontario will be coming out next month.

WOODSTOCK - A new book coming out will feature a local high school student from Princeton. 

Awaken Your Inner Hero is an inspirational book that features 50 remarkable stories featuring young people from Ontario. 

16 year old Cole Hayward from Princeton is in the book because of a skateboarding event he organizes every year in Paris to raise money for ALS. 

"This is our 6th year doing, this year the contest is on September 15th from 11 am to 5 p.m and we have raised over $10,000 so far for ALS society and we are trying to raise more. Everyone comes out and it is just a fun day of skateboarding, we give out prizes and we have a few competitions and yeah, everyone goes home with a prize." 

Hayward started the annual event after attending an ALS walk in honour of his father, who passed away from ALS when he was only 2 years old. 

Lee Thibeault from London is another inspirational story featured in the book. He had to adjust his life when a horrible accident left him confined to wheel chair. 

"I decided to take it upon myself to also help those who are looking to acquire the mentorship to also have a nice positive quality of life. That's where I started getting involved with being a mentor and peer supporter for young children and also for anyone around my age and older as well."

Thibeault is known as a local Superman and he spends a lot of his time talking to kids going through similar situations.  

"When I first received my wheel chair accessible truck, I decided in respect to the late Christopher Reeves, I was going to make a Superman truck and I started wearing the t-shirt and when I started going out and doing the speaking engagements and speaking with those people suffering through their adversaries and I would see the young kids put there Superman shirts on and that is a real symbol of hope." 

The book is co-authored by a local teacher Tammy Vallieres who is also a Hero Intelligence Agent; someone who sees the inner hero in kids and teens. She's working alongside Jen Fitz and Susan Howson to create the first instalment of Awaken Your Inner Hero book series.

Vallieres says the book will take a look at youth who are doing what they can to make the world a better place.

"Autumn is indigenous and she's doing work all around Canada and trying to bring awareness of the dire need to protect our water. She's connected with the United Nations she's worked with Severn Suzuki and David Suzuki and she's going to be in Nelson Publishing's books in schools for literacy on this, she's won a Governor General's Award and she was up for Nobel Peace Prize."

Awaken Your Inner Hero will be available in book stores later this month and they will have an official launch on April 6th in Alliston. They will be in Woodstock for a book signing on May 5th at the Woodstock Fairgrounds.  



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