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Pickering College graduate publishes children's book about Parkinson's disease

Sales of Sasha Au Yong's book, Something's Different About Grandpa, supports Parkinson Canada
Sasha Au Yong with her book.

A school project has resulted in a recent Pickering College graduate becoming a published author whose children's book supports a cause close to her heart.

Sasha Au Yong both wrote and illustrated Something’s Different About Grandpa, which was her winning Global Leadership Program Capstone Action Project at the Newmarket private school, in support of Parkinson Canada.

The book is suitable for all ages and is a great way for adults to teach young children about Parkinson's disease.  

She began work on the project in Grade 11 with a research paper on Parkinson’s disease, and then in Grade 12, Sasha chose to write a book to spread awareness about Parkinson’s disease, according to a Pickering College news release. Sasha and three other finalists virtually pitched their ideas to three panellists, with Sasha winning first place and a $1,000 grant from Pickering College, which she used to publish her first run of books. 

“The creativity, passion, determination, and perseverance of each of these finalists shone through in their video presentations, along with their live answers to the questions,” said panellist Melissa Mikel, director of education at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.

Fellow panellist Kevin Peesker, president of Microsoft Canada, added, “What incredible students you have developed. I left the presentations today inspired. The work you are undertaking with the Capstone Project provides key foundational skills for your students to live a life of impact."

Sasha’s book is available for delivery in Canada and internationally at $12 plus shipping and all proceeds go to Parkinson Canada, a registered charitable organization. To order your copy, visit Pickering College’s website.