If you know your worth, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams.
That's the message a 17-year-old Texas High School senior conveys in her fictional book, "Worth," which is about a young woman who had to discover her own value to focus on her dreams.
Trinitee Noel stands at 6'3 and was a commanding presence during her book signing at Texas High's library last Wednesday. While her teachers say she is a natural leader, she said she is the product of her own choices and chose to find the positive aspects of life.
"Everybody has a purpose," she said. "Every day when you wake up, find something to live for. That's your purpose. It's something that I had to do."
Christie Alcorn and Melissa McCaleb are co-teachers for Trinitee's English 4 class. They said they are proud of her accomplishments and that she's confident in knowing her abilities and what she can achieve in life.
"She absolutely knows that she has a destiny and a purpose," Alcorn said. "She's navigating that now still."
The teachers agreed that Trinitee has the world in front of her.
"We could be sitting next to the next Toni Morrison and we told her classmates that," she said. "We have no idea where she's going to go. This could take off as a play, she could write another book, go to a conference. Just her exposure. The sky's kind of the limit, I think."
McCaleb said Trinitee is a natural leader and mature for her age.
"She definitely exudes that confidence and that leadership that we as her teachers could only hope and pray that her classmates would also have within themselves," she said.
At the signing, when someone bought the book, Trinitee had the purchasers turn to the page containing a pledge, read it out loud and then sign it.
The pledge reads: "Promise me that you never settle for less than you deserve when it comes to anything in your life. Relationships, dreams, goals and everything in between. That you'll never tolerate disrespect and even if you feel like you are settling when it comes to relationships now, that you'll work towards not doing that! Promise me that you'll learn your worth and make others know it too and only allow the person who deserve(s) you to have you!"
McCarthy, who also took the pledge and signed her copy of the book, said she thinks this is an intriguing way for Trinitee to make a connection with the reader.
"It's not just her saying 'Here's my story, buy my book,'" she said. "It's 'Here's a story. It could be your story, too, but every story is important.' She makes you recite it and there's something about the spoken word that is a bond. To me, that's what she's hoping to get out of it, a bond with her readers.".
Trinitee began her writing career by creating short stories on Facebook. She said that during that time, she was also in the process of deciding what she wanted to do in life.
"Because I'm 6'3, people thought I should play sports. I tried it, but it wasn't what I wanted to do," she said. "I've always written poetry, but I never looked at it as a gift."
She took cosmetology last year and then dropped out of the course in the second semester to devote her time to writing the book.
"Once I dropped out of there, I was like "Hey, there's no turning back.' That was a push," she said. "In the book, I decided to teach a lesson. Our generation is so focused on relationships and they don't know the pros of loving yourself. Doors open. You're not as closed-minded and it just opens up a lot of opportunities, because I know it did for me. I wanted to teach a lesson through everyday life and something someone could possibly experience."
The lesson of loving yourself is not just expressed in those pages, but it is something Trinitee practices each day.
"The drive, the opportunity, the passion that I have behind each stroke of my pen comes from loving myself," she said. "Life is all about you. People don't push this enough. And it starts when you're younger. All through school they tell you 'Don't treat people this way. Don't treat people that way.' But nobody tells you to love yourself in the midst. Nobody tells you that you are important and you are special and if you don't have that at home, you get so brainwashed."
She added that peer pressure can overwhelm those who don't love themselves enough.
"Many are called, but only a few are chosen," she said. "Only a few people step out and do the unordinary. Most kids feel like they have to do what their sister did, what their brother did. If you're taught to love yourself at a younger age, then the world becomes a better place. It makes it easier. I don't say it takes all your struggles away, because struggles build you. I live by the thought that tomorrow is not promised, so I'll be a vision of what I live today. Every day I wake up, there's a drive, a purpose, the reason I am here. I wasn't just put here just to be."
For the future, Trinitee said she wants to get a bachelor's degree in business administration and start a nonprofit organization to teach children how to become
responsible and respectful citizens of society. She said she also wants to be the CEO of at least two of her own companies.
"Worth" is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.