Palmetto Bay author Danielle Joseph writes to inspire teens to pursue their dreams. And this year her book, Shrinking Violet, was turned into the Disney Channel movie Radio Rebel. She recently donated 100 copies of the novel to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Joseph also gives back by speaking at schools and creative writing workshops. She says the underlying theme for all her books is “following your passions.”
“All my books deal with following your dream, no matter what obstacles you might face, and believing in yourself,” she said.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Joseph grew up in Boston. There she went to Emerson College for her bachelor’s degree in creative writing. She followed it up with a master’s degree in marketing communications and advertising, and moved to Miami 16 years ago. She is married and has three young children.
In college Joseph had internships at Boston radio stations, so when she wrote Shrinking Violet, the shy main character finds confidence through becoming a D.J. Radio Rebel, which premiered in February, stars Debby Ryan. It debuted with 4.3 million total viewers, reaching 13 million viewers over its weekend airings. The movie was recently released on DVD.
Joseph’s two other teen novels are Indigo Blues and Pure Red. She is currently working on a middle grade novel that “draws on my own Jewish South African heritage,” she said.
HELP FOR HOMELESS
For the past 19 years, New Hope has been helping people who live below the poverty level. Now the Homestead organization has two big reasons to celebrate. The group recently received large grants to make necessary improvements.
A $50,000 grant from the Patrick P. Lee Foundation will be used as a cash match to complement a $425,391 award from the Miami Dade County Homeless Trust for substance abuse rehabilitation services.
A $71,300 grant from the 2012 City of Homestead Community Development Block Grant Program will be used to repair 10 bathrooms and 12 rooms that house homeless men receiving mental health and addiction treatment. New Hope’s is the only facility in South Miami Dade County that provides residential services to this underserved population.
Manuel Alvarez and a group of volunteer workers founded New Hope to help released male inmates get help to keep them from returning to the life that brought them to jail. New Hope was created as a residential program where they can get proper treatment for alcohol and substance abuse addictions. For more information on the organization, call Stephen Alvarez at 786-243-1003.
The Miami Herald’s Bea L. Hines will speak at the next meeting of the New Neighbors Club of South Dade starting at 11 a.m., Sept. 12 at the Coral Gables Country Club, 997 N. Greenway Dr. Everyone is invited for this interesting and entertaining program.
Hines will share with the group “My Journey From Domestic Worker To Pulitzer-Prize-Nominated Writer.” Born in Williston, Fla., Hines came to Miami at age 6 and settled in Overtown. She started her career at The Herald as a file clerk and became the paper’s first black woman reporter four years later. She describes her career at The Miami Herald “as a long and interesting journey, filled with laughter and a good amount of tears.” She is currently writing a book about her experiences.