Longview teacher: Reading is empowering, and you can do anything!

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas teacher is sharing a message with her students: good things happen if you just try. And she is living proof of it.

Baylor graduate Sharonica Powell is a first-year science teacher at Foster Middle School. That's something that may have never happened if it hadn't been for a drawing she made at the age of 7.

"It was a national contest. I competed against other elementary school kids and high school kids. The picture, it actually is my family. My mom, my dad, my sister, all in the picture together," she says.

In kindergarten she drew the picture in a contest for the national campaign, 'Reading Is Fundamental,' and she won. It earned her a trip to the White House in 1998.

"It was an experience I can't describe, even at my age now, being able to witness that. I got to walk all over the White House , I got to sit in the Oval Office," Sharonica says. That started her love for knowledge. And each day, she passes on to her students the message that good things can happen if you put in the effort. And it starts with reading.

"Reading is absolutely empowering. You can read and learn about anything that you have a desire to read and learn about, no matter what. Kids have the ability to achieve anything and never place any doubt in themselves, because they are extremely capable," Powell says.

And you never know where a simple picture will take you. Powell just received a state grant of $1,000 today for science technology at LISD.

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