USC Aiken graduate writes children’s book to raise awareness of differences between twins | Entertainment

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As a child, local author Vandria Steward wanted nothing more than to be seen as an individual.

One of the main challenges Steward, a Ruffin native, faced when she was younger was the inability of others to accept her differences and those of her twin sister. Because of this, Steward felt the need to force others to recognize his individuality.

“I didn’t like the way people appreciated us being the same or forced us to be the same. In my head, having the same answer as my twin was not cute. I wanted to look like I had my own individual, different mindset, even if it was a lie,” Steward said.

In kindergarten, Steward and his sister Andria were asked the simple question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” »

Steward knew his sister wanted to be an artist; and although she shares the same interest, Steward told her teacher that she wanted to be a nurse like her godmother.

Steward’s lie about wanting to be a nurse taught her an important lesson in honesty. In order to nurture and encourage Vandria and Andria to follow their dreams, their godmother gave them an art set and a nursing kit.

Although Steward was grateful for the nursing bag, she realized that honesty is far more valuable than lying in proving a point.

Growing up as a twin in an inattentive world made Steward recognize her purpose. Facing the constant automatic comparison from those around her acted as a catalyst for her to realize the differences between the twins.

“We’re identical twins, but we’re not really identical,” Steward said. “Accept the twins as they are. Two distinct individuals who want to be seen that way.

In order to bring his goal to life, Steward created a children’s picture book with the aim of catching the attention of children and adults alike.

Steward’s book, “The Twin World of Lacole & Nacole”, came to fruition alongside the idea of ​​creating twin fellowships 11 years ago.

Steward’s hard work and determination resulted in his success. Since last year, Steward’s book has been officially published and is available on Amazon, and she now has scholarships at several select colleges in South Carolina, one of which is her alma mater, USC Aiken.

The interactive elements of the book aim not only to teach the reader about the individuality of the twins, but also to encourage the development of communication skills.

The entirety of Steward’s book is a compilation of dialogues between the 5-year-old version of her and her sister and the reader.

“I created this book to be interactive to encourage parents to engage in conversation with their children. This way they feel seen and heard. I want them to understand that they have a voice that matters. “Steward said. “The purpose of the dialogue is to help promote self-confidence and develop their communication skills, so that they are not afraid to ask or answer questions or to speak up if necessary. .”

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