Blacklick 13-year-old

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Erika Severance and Leslie in class.

It all started when (Erika) submitted a book she wrote (about her dog, Lilly) to a publishing company for consideration. When they declined, she decided to start her own publishing company (kid style) to not only publish her own book, but also the books of any children that wanted the experience, as well.

She does it all completely free of charge, including the shipping, and offers editing and writing lessons, as well.

Her website for her company is

She has already "published" dozens of books sent to her from children all over the country and hands out business cards she had printed to every child she sees. They gave her a table at the Groveport Arts Festival to showcase some of her work and to let other kids know about it.

At the age of 11, she did a fundraiser for the humane society and raised $100 for them, walking door to door with a box she labeled "Pennies for Puppies."

Once she turned 12, she became a volunteer at the Franklin County Dog Shelter.

When she was 6, she saw a story on raising guide dogs and decided she wanted to do it, too. I told her maybe when she was 12 (of course, thinking that day would never come).

When her 12th birthday came along, that was all she asked for. We put in an application soon after, and on April 6, 2010, we received our first puppy from Pilot Dogs Inc.

She was a golden retriever that Erika named Leslie.

Erika did everything needed to raise her, and she was the trainer at all the obedience classes.


Nominated by Christy Weseman,

Erika's mother