As a young teenager, J. Desiree Rodriguez’s goal was to leave behind a legacy; something that would always remain on Earth, even when she is gone. Since then, she has published two more books, Sunshine Autobiography - A Quick Guide and Story for Busy and First Time Moms as well as Alana’s Great Dream Adventure, a bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s novel.

As a young teenager, J. Desiree Rodriguez’s goal was to leave behind a legacy; something that would always remain on Earth, even when she is gone.

Eyes of Mine is a collection of poems I wrote during adolescence; friendships, relationships, home and much more,” Rodriguez said. “As you read it, the writing develops into deeper thoughts. I couldn’t believe I had actually produced a book all on my own at 17. I saved all my money from my first job. My goal was to be published before I graduated high school, and I was able to fulfill that dream. I collaborated with my English teacher and friends for editing.”

Since then, she has published two more books, Sunshine Autobiography – A Quick Guide and Story for Busy and First Time Moms as well as Alana’s Great Dream Adventure, a bilingual (English and Spanish) children’s novel.

Rodriguez struggled with being pregnant, managing two jobs, entrepreneurship, student life and becoming a first-time homebuyer.

“Sunshine is about the light of pregnancy that showed me how to adapt, learn about myself and, most importantly, conquer a traumatic change in my life,” she said.

Rodriguez has led an interesting life, to say the least.

“July 31, I will be competing in the Mrs. All-Star United States Pageant, representing Mrs. Southeast. My dream has always been to compete in a pageant, make a true impact and be the positive representation our youth need,” Rodriguez said. “I hope to inspire youth through my books while implementing diversity and discussing education as the foundation. As an educator of six years, daily, I understand what is lacking for our youth and I want to help be a part of the resolution. Through author visits, keynote speaking and producing more diverse literature, I believe I can make an inspirational impact in the community.”

Rodriguez also volunteers a lot in the Brandon community.

“Last year was my first year in Florida, and with the help of the community, we produced more than 500 handmade sack lunches and snacks for the homeless,” Rodriguez said. “This is my ‘Give Thanks’ initiative I have developed for several years.”

If you would like to learn more about J. Desiree Rodriguez or if you’d like to read her latest book, you can visit her website at www.jdesiree.com.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.