Positive Attitude: Porter student publishes book about struggles, strengths - Brownsville Herald: Local News

Positive Attitude: Porter student publishes book about struggles, strengths

By GARY LONG Staff Writer | Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 2:48 pm

Porter Early College High School Principal Mary Solis surprised students at the first pep rally of the year when she introduced Yiovanna Monserrat Rangel as an example of how to have a positive attitude.

“I called her and she walked all the way across the gym to the middle and everybody got real quiet,” Solis said last week. “I talked about her struggles, how despite her impairment and what she has to deal with and how difficult it is for her to walk sometimes she took something very negative and turned it around, and she killed it with this book and how this struggle makes her a stronger person.”

Yiovanna was born with cerebral palsy, which affects her motor skills but not her cognitive ability. She spent the summer writing “My Struggles Made Me Stronger.” It is available on Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble online. She will have a book signing Sept. 25 at the Brownsville Public Library main branch on Central Boulevard.

“I’m very proud of her. I told them she could be upset and mad but instead she turned it around and she’s gonna help other kids,” Solis said. “Everybody knows her because or her personality and her outlook on life. She’s just so positive.”

“I wrote it over the summer,” Yiovanna said. “It talks about my struggles, situations that I have been in, and it talks about how I have overcome them with the help of my family and friends.”

One example is the trouble she used to have getting to class on time. The solution was leaving one class five minutes to get to the next so that she wouldn’t be in the hallways when there’s so much traffic.

Another was doing all of her class work and homework on a laptop computer. She said her cerebral palsy limits her ability to write in the traditional sense but that she does much better on the computer.

She said she wrote the book for two reasons: “to motivate others and for people to learn from my perspective so they can see things from my point of view.”

The book is available in Spanish and English. She got connected with the publisher, EM Editorial here in Brownsville, and they did the translation, she said.

They worked together getting her original manuscript ready to go to print and passing revisions and corrections back and forth on a USB drive. She received the first hard copy of the book the last week of summer vacation. It was printed in Los Angeles. Now she’s waiting for the first shipment of books to arrive.

After high school Yiovanna plans to attend college. Right now her first option is Texas A&M University in College Station.

“Right now it’s between the medical field or becoming an occupational therapist,” she said.

One of the main topics is how she and her twin sister Yulianna, who does not have the disability, were compared growing up.

“She can do some things that I can’t do and I can do things that she can’t do. I express myself better in writing,” she said.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com