Inspired by the true story of Madison “Maddie” Whitsett, a 9-year-old Alabama girl who took her own life in 2018 and suffered from the effects of bullying, Nokomis native Noelia Voigt authored an anti-bullying children’s book called Maddie the BRAVE last year.
The story aims to help children practice self-love, identify bullying and how to respond to it.
Voigt, also a former 2016 Miss Sarasota Teen pageant winner, is part of an anti-bullying nonprofit called Tiny Be Mighty that recently released an anti-bullying app called Bullying Buddy, which reports data and offers support tools for students, teachers, parents, administrators and policymakers. She will be working with key partners to integrate the app into school districts. A portion of Maddie the BRAVE book sales proceeds will benefit the nonprofit.
Voigt also won the Miss Teen Florida USA competition in 2018, held the Miss Alabama Collegiate America 2020 title, and now holds the Miss Connecticut Collegiate America 2021 title. She will narrate the story and autograph purchased copies from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Children's World this Saturday.
Readings will take place hourly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, at Children's World, 4525 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, (941) 955-6999. You can buy copies of the book at the event. To learn more about bullying and its impact on children, click here.