Anyé Young, a Dominican-American teen author and advocate for children with incarcerated parents, has self-published her first book, “Teen Guide to Living With Incarcerated Parents.”
The book, published on Father’s Day, June 2018 when Young was just 16 years old, guides teens with parents in prison with tips, morals, and coping mechanisms. It also offers a glimpse into her life as a teen still coping with the fact that her father is serving a 12-year prison sentence.
Young’s mother, LaDàna Drigo, is an international public relations consultant and the founder of MyFairyGodParents.org, a charity organization that supports under-served youth and youth with incarcerated parents.
In an interview with DNO, Young said she wrote her book “Teen Guide to Living With Incarcerated Parents” to not only heal herself but also to help other teens like her, heal and accept their reality so that they can move on from the hurt and trauma.
“The overall message that I would like to communicate is that you are not your circumstances. You have the power to turn things around for yourself so that you can be the person you want to be. Life is what we make of it and more people need to be aware that they are worthy of the life they want to live,” the teen author stated. “I have seen the strife and chaos the island of Dominica has been through all these years and I know exactly what it’s like to feel hopeless and stuck. This is why I make efforts to spread my message to the people that need it the most. I would have wanted someone to do the same for me.”
Young volunteers with Rebuild Dominica and is the Youth Coordinator for the MyFairyGodParents.org charity organization. She is now a graduating high school senior in the Washington D.C. metro area. She’s continuing her work as an advocate by speaking up to promote awareness. Her previous speaking engagements includes 63rd Commission on the Status of Women Parallel Symposium presented by Meaningfulworld. An upcoming speaking engagement in Tampa FL on May 18, as an advocate for FAMM.org (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) will mark the beginning of Young’s summer book tour.
Young told DNO that she is open to being sponsored to speak at youth empowerment events and universities throughout the Caribbean and Europe in addition to the U.S. She said her drive is based on the things she’s seen her father and his family go through and where they have led him in life. She said that she doesn’t want to be the kind of person that blocks their own blessings because they are afraid of failure.
“I feel that the outcome of things are often times unpredictable but we should never be afraid to try,” Young advised.
The author and her mother are currently planning a book tour but need sponsors and partners to make stops in the Caribbean and Europe possible and say they would “absolutely love” to do the first Caribbean stop for the book tour in Dominica. People who wish to donate funds can visit Young’s website and go fund me page www.AnyeYoung.com .
“I have a favorite quote I like to refer to when I’m going through a tough time,” Young said. “’If you’re going through hell, keep going’-Winston Churchill. This quote is one that always reassures me that my suffering is temporary and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
She added, “For other young people that are trying to reach their goals, I would say that if you’re going to go for something you’re passionate about then give it your all and don’t hold yourself back because you are your own worst enemy.”