TUCSON, Ariz. - A local Tucson teenager wrote a book to inspire families with special needs children.
Stephanie Marbella was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when she was 3 years old. Now, 19, Stephanie says she wrote those book to show others that people with disabilities can still contribute to society.
Stephanie wrote the manuscript for "Mushroom's Mushrooming Business" back in 2011. It won the Tucson Festival of Books Youth Competition. More than 500 students competed for 20 spots, and Stephanie's book won the 6th grade level.
She says she also wants her book to, "promote stuff against polluting the Earth because our Earth is our only home right now, unless we conquer Mars."
Her book strives to inspire those with special needs to take action, specifically to help protect the environment.
So why did center her book around mushrooms?
She says, "when I read about mushrooms, they help clean the Earth."
Writing this book isn't her only accomplishment, though. Her mother, Josefina, says her daughter's autism doesn't hold her back academically.
She said Stephanie was "in the honor roll. Not only reading, writing, she excels in math and then arts. She's good in drawings. Right now, she's already in calculus 2, even though she's a freshman."
Josefina says her daughter has an A right now in calculus 2 at Pima Community College. But she won't be at PCC for long. Stephanie was recently accepted to the University of Arizona to study computer science.