In honor of International Women's Day, I would like to thank all the female teachers who inspired me to become the writer I am today.

I've always loved writing. It became a way for me to communicate since I don't have the best speech effectively. I've always been a creative person as well; I was coming up with stories and characters before I even knew how to write. I started taking writing a bit more seriously when I was in eighth grade.

My English teacher had us write daily journal entries, and it became a cathartic way for me to deal with my emotions while being bullied. Sure, my peers weren't exactly pleased with my writing; sometimes, they would mostly say I was drastically overdramatic, but you never let me give up, and I'm thankful.

Despite my eighth-grade English teacher's efforts, I was ready to give up on writing when I entered high school. My mom, however, didn't want me to stop writing, so she forced me to signup for Yearbook my freshman year. While I hated her at the time, it ended up being for the best. This teacher took a chance on the scared little freshman who had no idea if her writing was decent, let alone if it was worthy of being put in the yearbook. She took a chance on me though, and in the result, I ended up pushing myself to become a better writer.

My entire outlook on my writing changed when she allowed me to be an editor during my sophomore year. For the first time in my life, I had finally felt like I was good at writing and photography, two things that I was passionate about. I never stopped writing after that class, and because of the confidence, she gave me I now have the determination to try and become a professional writer.

Thank you both for allowing me to be my authentic selves. You both gave me the confidence to be who I am today, and because of you guy, I gained the courage to write for Odyssey Online, and I have the opportunity to write my first book. I hope you both continue to inspire others to write and create because you never know who will become a diamond in the rough.