Nelson Beats the Odds
Graphical Novel / Comic
Paperback: 32 pages
Self-Published: Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words, LLC (August 21, 2015)
Language(s): English Only
The author, Ronnie Sidney II, MSW (Master of Social Work) is a therapist, entrepreneur, speaker, author, consultant, and workshop presenter. He received his Bachelors Degree in Human Services in 2006, from Old Dominion University where he was also President of "Minds About Progress," a unique student organization that threw workshops, community dinners, school supply drives, disaster relief drives, lectures, inter-cultural panel discussions, concerts, Open Mics, and more. He also received his Masters degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014.
He has spent over eight years in the mental health and academic counseling fields and currently works as an outpatient therapist at the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board (MP-NNCSB).
His previous positions with the agency include substance abuse and adolescent counselor, intensive in-home therapist, and behavioral specialist.
He also works part-time as a program facilitator with the VCU Medical Center’s Injury Violence and Prevention Program.
Mostly recently he founded his own organization called Creative Medicine. While working in the jails of Virginia as a casework counselor and dialogue skills trainer, he founded "Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words," an expressive writing program.
He facilitated the program at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, for six months before expanding the program into an LLC. Creative Medicine’s mission is to improve participants’ social, emotional, and physical health through therapeutic writing and dialogue.
The book stems from his experience with these youth, as well as his own life story; the title is Nelson Beats the Odds and it is graphical novel aimed at both young people and educators alike.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, on August 14, 1983, Ronnie was raised in Tappahannock, Virginia, and attended Essex County Public Schools (ECPS). While attending ECPS, he spent seven years in special education after being diagnosed with a learning disability -- because he was spending too much time talking with his friends. The stigmatization of special education created a resentment and lack of interest in school. He graduated from Essex High School in 2001, with a mere 1.8 GPA.
The story is the real life story of the author, Ronnie Nelson Sidney II, and is about resilience and how strong men and women through belief and support can help our boys to overcome the odds. Ronnie’s early academic challenges ignited a passion within him to pursue social justice and to work with the youth.
It has been a long journey in self-publishing and has created opportunities for grassroots work that are now benefiting a lot of our youth, through positive dialogue. Through the support of a few great teachers, his parents, the influence of HipHop Culture, and his own resilience not only has he been academically successful but also a productive grassroots worker in the community.