April Henderson is an Author, Youth Advocate, and Speaker with extensive professional experience in the educational and social service field, targeting the needs of at-risk youth and their families. She obtained her Masters of Education in 2006, and has dedicated her leadership to servicing child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as homeless and runaway youth. In 2002, she started The Restoration Home, a nonprofit that offers programming for girls and young women.
April Henderson knows firsthand how turbulent it can be to cope with adversity during the teen years, as she lost her brother at the age of sixteen. Her journey of overcoming this tragedy and rediscovering her identity, hope, and courage led her to a career of working with youth in the social service field and education sector.
Get to know April:
ARBC: What inspired you to write your book, A Letter to You?
My inspiration to write this book came partly from my own struggle of losing my brother at the age of sixteen. When I lost my brother, I was depressed, suicidal, and had an identity crisis- I wondered who I was now that he was gone. This was a very difficult and devastating time for me, and on top of that, I still had to deal with the dynamics of being a teen. Moreover, my inspiration came from leading a team while working with girls who were victims of sexual trafficking. I would have Tuesday Chats with the girls, and they could talk to me about anything. What I noticed during this time was that the girls shared many of the same issues. No matter the location where I worked, whether in the school system, in the church, at the homeless shelters, or with my current organization, there were common issues that all girls dealt with. I saw my “teen self” in these girls. From that point on, I thought about all the other girls who needed support, encouragement and guidance- and that is how the book came about.
ARBC: What can readers take away from your book?
Readers can expect to be encouraged, empowered, enlightened and inspired as they navigate their everyday lives. They will be challenged to grow and evolve overall as a person.
ARBC: Does your book have a lesson? A moral?
The letters are written from the perspective of an older sister/mentor talking to a younger sister/mentee. Each letter offers meaningful advice and key insights that will help encourage, educate, empower and inspire girls as they navigate through life.
ARBC: What is your favorite letter in this book, and why?
In all 50 letters, there is a section that states, “ From One Sister to Another”. This is where I inform the readers that I can relate to them. This is my favorite part because I believe that ultimately all people want to be understood. I try to communicate to the readers that “ I feel you, girl! You are not alone!”
ARBC: Are you planning to write other books?
I certainly am! I am already working on my next book! I feel like there is space for my voice in the world, and I am filled with stories and messages that I believe will resonate with others.
ARBC: What’s a cool/interesting fact about yourself?
Although I am truly a girly girl, there is still an inner tomboy inside of me. I am at home hanging with the girls sometimes, and the fellows as well!
ARBC: What is some advice you would give aspiring or first-time authors?
You don’t have to have all the answers before you start. Allow that creative flow to express itself naturally. If you only have a sentence at first, write it down! If you only have an idea, write it down! If you cannot write it down, record it so that when you are ready to write, you will remember it. Just get started! Just do it! One sentence will turn into two, and before you know it, you’ll have a paragraph. There is no perfect time, so you must start now. Take it from me a wife, mother of two small children and a professional. You can do it!
Find the book and the author:
About The Book
A Letter To You is a book of 50 inspirational letters written to teen girls and young women. The letters cover various topics, from self-esteem and comparison issues, to relationships and decision-making. Other topics include overcoming loss and adversity, dealing with mean-girl behavior, and social media bullying. The work is written from the perspective of an older sister/mentor talking to a younger sister/mentee. Each letter offers meaningful advice and key insights that will help encourage, educate, empower, and inspire girls as they navigate through life.