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Omaha teen’s children’s book aims to ensure kids know the strength they hold

<i>KMTV</i><br/>Everyone experiences challenges in life
Everyone experiences challenges in life

By Molly Hudson

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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KMTV) — She is known by some as Miss Lincoln’s Outstanding Teen.

“Through this whole experience, I have definitely grown as a person and I have gotten outside of my comfort zone, which I think is very important,” said Maggie Wadginski, a senior at Westside.

To others, she is a dancer and even a member of show choir. But Maggie’s journey growing up wasn’t easy.

“I was in a wheelchair and I had a cast from my hip to my toes and so I was basically helpless,” Wadginski said.

When she was just three, she and her parents learned she had a tumor on her hip.

“The day came for surgery and people came to visit me and I was able to go back to school, and I had to learn to walk again and it was really hard,” Wadginski said.

Fast forward to today, she is working towards the Miss Nebraska Teen Competition that is held in June. Her platform started as suicide prevention, but she wanted to branch out and reach a younger audience.

“I obviously can’t go in and just start talking about ‘These are the warning signs,'” Wadginski said.

So that’s when this Westside seniors’ children’s book came to life.

“I kind of took a different route into more of the grit and resilience theme of things and that’s how I came up with my book, ‘Grit is our SUPERPOWER!’,” Wadginski said.

It’s about her story and she started writing it in late fall and it was professionally illustrated. She applied for a grant through the district.

“I got $500 to print books and I ended up printing them at the Westside print shop,” Wadginski said.

At age 17, Maggie is an author.

“I just wanted to cry. It was crazy seeing a book written by me and something that is unique to me especially,” Wadginski said.

She now has 1,000 copies to give away for free.

“I think that reading is very important. I remember when I was little, my dad especially would always read to me,” Wadginski said. “I wanted to just find a way that everybody could have access to my message.”

And remind everyone of the grit and resilience within them.

“I hope that everybody can learn that they can get through any of the hard situations that are happening, whether that is physical or emotional. There is always something inside you that can help you to keep going,” Wadginski said.

You will be able to get your hands on one of her copies. Her book launch tour starts over the weekend.

On Saturday she will be at the Dundee Book Company from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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