LaSalle teen pens high school survival guide, donates profits to Dans La Rue
It's a small book that's having a big impact.
As part of her 'personal project' in the International Baccalaureate program at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School, Chiara Santalucia spent about seven months on her bed writing 'Dear Teenagers'.
“I’m feeling really proud of myself because originally I hadn’t expected it to be this big,” Chiara explained.
“I said well, what do I know about - because I don’t know anything, I’m 16 years old,” she explained. “I was like ‘well, I know a lot about high school, so I just took what I knew, what other people were telling me, and I just kind of put it all together and created this one thing.”
The book is to meant to make the experience for those starting high school a little easier, using tips Chiara wishes she'd had when she started.
One underlying theme, according to Chiara, is “be yourself,” and don’t listen to what other people say.
“I know that its kinds of cheesy and kind of a cliché, and everybody says it, but after living like these five years in high school you just kind of sit back and you’re like “I really wish that I just lived my own true self, and I hadn’t listened to what other people said or wanted me to be,” she said.
Chiara describes her high school experience as 'above average.'
Her mom, however, classifies her as a trouble maker in the early years - but says she always knew it wouldn't last.
“Academically she was always amazing, it was more socially,” Mena Dilella explained. “She was always opinionated - it was always like I can’t believe she said that, But she’s calmed down and turned into a very mature young lady.”
So far Chiara has sold almost one hundred books and is donating all the money she makes to 'Dans la Rue' - an initiative that doesn't surprise her friends and teachers at LCCHS.
“Chiara has always been a very hard working motivated young lady,” said teacher Marcello Sicoli. “She’s very opinionated, and this was not something that surprised me.”
“I knew she could do whatever she set her mind out to accomplish, so this was not a surprise to any of us,” he added.
Chiara is undecided when it comes to writing another book, but she is decided on law school.
But first come CEGEP applications: taking things one chapter at a time.