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Author-therapist to speak at RCC

Local therapist, entrepreneur, author, consultant, and workshop presenter Ronnie Sidney will speak about his new graphic novel, “Nelson Beats the Odds,” at RCC on September 24 and 30.

Local therapist, entrepreneur, author, consultant and workshop presenter Ronnie Sidney has accepted an invitation to give two talks about his new graphic novel, “Nelson Beats the Odds,” at Rappahannock Community College.

The first, sponsored by the RCC/Richmond County Public Library, is on Thursday, September 24, 6-8 p.m., in RCC’s Warsaw Campus lecture hall; the second, which can be heard in the lecture halls on both campuses, will be on Wednesday, September 30, 12:30-1:15 p.m., and is sponsored by RCC’s Student Support Services (SSS) Office. Students and the general public are cordially invited to both events.

The semi-autobiographical “Nelson Beats the Odds” is about the life of a young boy who is diagnosed with a learning disability, but with support and friendship discovers his potential. Sidney describes it as “an inspiring story that celebrates friendship, resilience and empowerment. My goal,” he explains, “was to create a story that would resonate with students diagnosed with learning disabilities and mental health disorders. I want to inspire them to overcome difficult challenges and beat the odds.”

Sidney was raised in Tappahannock and educated in the Essex County public school system. Like his hero, he was placed in the special education program and spent his third through ninth grade years there, but after graduating from high school with a low GPA, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in human services.

His early academic challenges ignited a passion for social justice and working with youth; since leaving college, he has spent over eight years in the mental health and academic counseling fields, and currently works as an outpatient therapist with the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board.

In addition, he founded “Creative Medicine: Healing Through Words,” an expressive writing program which he implemented at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw for six months before expanding it into an LLC.

For more information about Sidney’s appearances, call the college library at 804-333-6710, or RCC’s SSS administrative officer Lorraine Justice at 333-6737, or email Justice at .

posted 09.23.2015

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