What challenges were you faced with growing up? and how did that impact your life?
It's tough trying to feel worthy and important, once you've been bullied and kept quiet. Growing up, every so often thoughts of being inferior and not important, always entered my mind. These
memories would sneak up on me, and send me into a downward spiral, even today as an adult.
Too often I had flashbacks. A lot of self-doubts, even when I was successful, earning multiple awards, I doubted myself. I feared failure even though I never failed.
Who inspired you to create Bentley?
I always doodled, and often times I would come up with some funny looking cartoon but would put it to the side. I witnessed bullying with young children and it upset me. I had to find a way to spread the message that bullying to some is funny, to others it is life-changing. I then realized I kept doodling a "similar" face each time and started to tweak it. Before long, I created and I named my character Bentley and thought that if he could make me smile, then he could have that same impact on children
You mentioned a life-altering trauma, can you elaborate?
I underwent a routine eye procedure that robbed me of my sight overnight. Three back to back unsuccessful surgeries, I am now considered "legally blind" in my one eye
What are your plans and goals for Bentley?
At the start of this journey, I headed in one direction, however, as Bentley has been very well received by many, in homes, classrooms and the hearts of children, Bentley now dictates the direction of this journey
If there is one thing that you could tell a child, what would it be and why?
Summed up as a whole, I would tell them to Speak Up, Believe in themselves, Never doubt their
worth because they are special and unique and to never give up.