While many students are studying for the STAAR examination next month, Junior Miss Five Hills Dorianna Gilbert has another big deadline ahead — the first draft of the children’s book she is writing.
Dorianna was asked by Mascot Publishing Company to author a children’s book about her community service project, the Lil’ Dawg and Lil’ Lady Dawg Homecoming Dance, to benefit students with dyslexia.
Dorianna chose dyslexia as her platform of service during her year-long reign after witnessing her neighbor who has dyslexia being made fun of by other children.
Dorianna has entitled her book, “Dancing Because I Am Different.”
“Writing a book is hard, but I am happy someone thought enough of me to give me this opportunity. When someone believes in you, the least you can do is not complain and make it happen,” Dorianna said.
“The biggest challenges are picking the pictures I want to include from my event and making sure I don’t leave out any important things,” Dorianna said. “I’m happy about doing this book because I plan to donate most of my proceeds to my school district to help children with dyslexia.”
Dorianna’s book must be 20 to 30 pages in length.
The first draft is due by the beginning of March.
The book offer came after Dorianna was featured in Scholastic News Magazine as a child philanthropist.
Highlights Magazine expressed interest in the story, interviewed Gilbert and that article will publish in March.
“I was excited to see myself in the magazine because now everyone can join me in not making fun of kids with dyslexia,” Dorianna said. “I hope this will let kids with learning disabilities know that they matter.”
If life is not already busy enough for the junior beauty queen who is also an honor roll student, a class representative for student council, plays basketball, in the running club and on a competitive reading team at school, Dorianna was recently cast in the role of Jamie in a new series on Nickelodeon.
Her brother, D.J., is playing the role of her brother, Parker, in the series.
The recurring role will require both children to miss school on the days the series is filming.
“I’m happy about being on Nickelodeon because this will be my opportunity to shine,” Dorianna said.
“Missing school is hard though because I love it, but my teachers understand and make sure I stay on task. We also have a teacher on set to help us with our assignments that our teachers email us to work on.”
Dorianna is not new to a filming set.
She has acted in national commercials including Oreo, Nike, Reebok, and Beat headphones.
She acted in the Long Road Home filmed on Fort Hood and the short film, “A Time to Tell.”
Dorianna has also modeled in New York Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week and been featured in Essence Magazine and The Face of Youth Magazine.
She has also been hired for numerous advertising photo shoots for online campaigns.