Dear Steve,

I don’t have cable in my apartment but I DVR your show at my parent’s house and watch it nearly every day. I love how you showcase role models and truly gifted and loving people through segments like Harvey’s Heroes. Your show is an inspiration especially because it presents a lot of minorities doing very positive things which I really did not see on TV growing up. Now it is cool to be a Latina thanks to J-Lo and her assets and the whole “cross-over.” Growing up, first generation American it was a different story. Most of my cousins my age do not even know how to speak Spanish because it just was not cool and their parents did not enforce it because now they were “American.” To me being an American is so much more. We as Americans have the ability to eat at many different restaurants and sample many different cuisines (Chinese food, Japanese food, Cuban food, Italian food, etc. ) You can learn about all different types of religions and philosophies. You can encounter all different types of people of different colors, faiths, and backgrounds. I love that about where I live and I embrace that.

In 2010 I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. For my thesis I wrote and illustrated a book. This book is a children’s book about a little girl who goes to her first day of school and encounters another little girl who asks her where she is from. The main character says, “What do you mean I am from my house?” The other little girl asks her about her background and the story goes on into the main character exploring different cultures. She eats sushi and thinks “I like this, maybe I am Japanese.” She keeps trying different things and wonders where she is from. She finally asks her mother where they are from and her mother says that they are Dominican-American (I am Dominican American.) It was important to me that the character was not just American because although America is a big melting pot Dominican Republic might not be in some areas.  Although Dominican Republic is largely a country that has a lot of tourists, the people in the countryside and that are not close to the major resort sites really do not encounter different groups of people. I wanted people to understand that even though you might live on an island or in a small city you do not have to limit your experience. You enrich yourself by encountering different people because they have a different perspective, beliefs, traditions, and customs that we can learn from.

The characters in the book are all dolls that I have sewn by hand. I have created well over 500 dolls. For my thesis, I created over 300 dolls and sold them for $5 each and then donated the money to Haiti. Now I am in the process of creating another book and I have formed my own Limited Liability Corporation; Scrappy Dudes LLC. We have started to work on our website (www.scrappy-dudes.com) where people can purchase my books, read my blogs, and all that groovy stuff.

I am 26 years old. I am an art teacher at a Catholic all-girl school. I hope that I really succeed with this business. I tend to dream big. I hope to someday be on your show to showcase my business and show kids and parents the importance of a multi-cultural education. I also hope to someday return to your show as a “Mystery Millionaire” or a “Harvey’s Hero.”

P.S. Attached is my vision board.  One of the projects I have the kids do is a vision board on Adobe Photoshop. I read “The Secret” and totally loved it and love creating vision boards. On my vision board I have a picture of you because my dream is to be on your show to talk about a company that I started, Scrappy Dudes LLC.

Vanessas-Vision-Board-2014 Click on image to enlarge.