LAND O' LAKES, Fla. (FOX 13) - Now a seventh-grader at Countryside Montessori Charter School, Selena Schulz remembers why she set out to write books at just 8 years old. She said she saw animals at the shelter who didn't have beds to sleep in.
On her birthday that year, she asked for donations instead of gifts.
"It made me feel really sad," Selena said. "I've always loved animals. I think they all deserve a fair chance in life. Even if they're at the shelter waiting for a forever home, I want to make that transition as comfortable as possible for them."
She set out to write a trilogy, based on her real-life experiences. Her first book is called "Cici's Amazing Birthday."
"My first book is about dogs and adopting," Selena explained. "A child finds a dog on the side of the road. When the shelter can't find its owner, they adopt it instead."
By the time Selena was 12 years old, she had completed the books in her series. Her parents helped her self-publish them, and with part of the proceeds, Selena donates to local animal shelters and even ones in Canada.
To date, Selena has donated more than $5,000.
"I love seeing the smiles on the shelter coordinators' and volunteers' faces, because I know I'm actually making a difference," she continued.
On top of that, Selena started "A Bed a Buck a Buddy," with a mission to encourage others to donate to animal shelters or volunteer. She and her family are in the process of developing it into a non-profit.
At 13 years old, she shows us all that you're never too young or old to make a difference.
"The books were my idea, in order to incorporate my hobby of reading into showing other kids they can do the same thing and help the shelters as well," Selena added.