Methodist University graduate Cameron Harris ’22 didn’t wait long to make a difference. In fact, he couldn’t even make it to graduation day before bringing his imagination to life.
The Lexington, N.C. native has been busy working towards his doctorate in the University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program, which includes three years of rigorous coursework and clinical fieldwork. Despite his hectic schedule, Harris wanted to accomplish at least one other goal before walking across the graduation stage last week – creating a children’s book focused on occupational therapy.
“In occupational therapy, you have to write a lot ,which was extremely helpful when it came time to write a book,” Harris said. “I had the necessary writing skills, but the difficult part was bringing my writing down to the level of my audience, a 3-year-old. I had a lot of help from my family and friends who made sure the writing wasn’t too complicated.”
Once the writing was complete, Harris turned his attention to the artwork. He used a graphic design platform called Canva to develop the visuals from cover to cover.
Originally, Harris planned on stopping there. But his friends encouraged him to publish the book for the rest of the world to see. Their persistence paid off, and soon after, Harris worked with Amazon to get the book published. It was reviewed and accepted on its first try.
In late April, all of Harris’ hard work came to fruition as his book was officially released. “The Adventures of Cam: The Little One That Can” focuses on the wild imagination of a 9-year-old kid who imagines himself as a range of other things before realizing his greatest power is imagination itself.
“The book is truly about allowing your inner child to grow and having hope. I want to give kids the confidence they need to be anything they want,” Harris said.
As a black author, Harris mentioned it was also important for him to tell the story through the eyes of a black child.
“I grew up in a predominantly white high school, so it was tough for me to find myself and find my ground,” Harris said. “I really wanted to create a path for others like me. I poured my desire into this book. I wanted to show that even if you’re the first one or the last one in anything, you can still accomplish what you want to accomplish.”
Harris said more than 50 copies of the book had been sold just a few weeks into the release. You can purchase a copy for yourself here.
A little over a month after his book was published, Harris graduated with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. He plans on finishing his last doctoral capstone experience over the next few months before searching for a job in pediatrics, geriatric nursing, or women’s health.
When asked if he would publish another children’s book down the line, Harris said not to rule it out.
“My mother really wants another book,” Harris chuckled. “Based on some of the feedback I’ve received on this one, I think another book could be in line. I really want to create a book about social-emotional learning and bullying at school.”