Olivia Blevins might just be one of the most determined fifth graders you’ll ever meet. Livi, as she likes to be called, has some pretty serious passions in life already – and she pursues them with incredible energy and an always-engaging smile.
One of her biggest passions is encouraging and helping children and families with special needs – or “different abilities,” as she likes to say – and creating environments where they are not judged. She created Livi Lives, a nonprofit that provides support, resources, workshops, classes, and strategies for children and families that have special needs or mental health issues, and she is on a mission to change the way society views and responds to those who live life differently.
“Don’t quit. Don’t give up. You’re an overcomer! Stay strong, keep calm, and live the life God gave you. I believe you can do it.”
Livi was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago, and she’s started a series of books, written especially for kids, to show them they can live with ADHD. The project began as a school assignment, assigned by her teacher at Genesis Consulting Group Homeschool Co-Op with Georgia Cyber Academy.
“During Women’s History Month, we learned stories of the great work women throughout history have done,” Livi says. “Our teacher shared that we all have stories to tell, so I decided to write about ADHD to help people understand it’s what they have and not who they are. They can overcome it.”
“When Livi first learned she had ADHD, she decided to interview her doctor to learn about causes and treatment options,” says mom, Iris. “From that, she incorporated strategies to help herself and others. She’s an avid soccer player and participated in Rashan Ali’s Sporty Girls Camp. She also sharpens her entrepreneur skills through workshops, and securing donations to support others, such as Lighthouse Family Retreat unbirthday party to celebrate children fighting cancer. Hearing from Bernice King and Storm Reid during the King Children Centennials Speak Day, which recognizes children who have done extraordinary work for humanity, inspired her to start support groups within Livi Lives. I am never surprised at what she speaks, thinks, or comes up with.”
“One of the things I want children to know is that you can do the things you want to do,” Livi says. “People think special needs children can’t do stuff, but they can do all things through Christ, no matter what people say or think about them.”
She’s also working to start a YouTube show with fellow cover girl Madisyn Howard called “The Real Liv and Madi.” The show is slated to teach young viewers about topics like entrepreneurship – straight from the mouths of two young ladies who’ve started their own companies before starting middle school!
“We’re not too young to start doing things that are important to us and figuring out how to get things done,” she says. “Children should know that. So, we’re going to tell them.”
Meet Fayette Woman Magazine’s 2018 Women to Watch. From writing a book for kids with ADHD to showing us how to help the sick and homeless, the girls on the cover of this year’s Women to Watch issue are truly astounding! Three of them have already formed nonprofits. One is a charge nurse and mentor at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. They’re all on a path to a brilliant future, fortified with a determination to help others, and they all have wise words to share with people of all ages. Read on to learn more about these dynamos and many other amazing young women in our community. You’ll be inspired!