Opinion: Teaming up to make their dreams reality

Published 8:36 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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Alabaster native Ashlee Elliott always dreamed of putting a book together and when it came time to make that dream a reality and create a children’s book—there was only one problem.

“I can’t draw to save my life,” Elliott said.

Elliott’s solution? She held a contest to get a student illustrator involved, and what a great decision that turned out to be.

Elliott brought Chelsea High School student Jayla Coleman on board, and after 7 months of work and time for publication, they finally held the culmination of the efforts in their own hands.

At first glance, their book, “The ABCs of Computer Science,” is just a cute children’s book filled with adorable pictures teaching computer science terms to a general audience. However, this marks a major moment for the two as it also opens up a whole new world to explore.

Coleman’s dream is to be a children’s book illustrator and she’s already fulfilled that dream as just a high school senior.

She displayed the dedication to work together with Elliott on the book and worked to design two cute and iconic mascot characters—Charlie and Ada. Coleman now has something significant to put on her resume in order to assist further in making that dream her career later in life. She also has the book itself in her own hands to keep for the rest of her life and remind her as well as a large plush of Ada—a thank-you gift courtesy of Elliott.

With her lifelong dream fulfilled, Elliott could just sit back and be happy about the journey, but she’s already spit balling ideas to keep going and put together another book. She recognizes the value inherent in the design of Coleman’s characters and wants to continue.

With plans for future publications, and with the book already selling more than 100 copies in the first week, let’s hope that this is not the final adventure for Charlie and Ada, and especially not for Coleman and Elliott.