Story by Sara Paul
Amidst a literary sea of Florida Public Library books, a young, voracious reader has her favorite. Without call number nor reference desk assistance, nine-year-old Shea Lundell lunges to the shelf and finds El Deafo. The graphic novel by author and illustrator Cece Bell is based on her experiences of losing her hearing at a young age and then wearing a phonic ear, a powerful, yet awkward looking hearing aid.
Shea feels strongly about the story’s message, which she interprets as, “People with special needs are not different from the rest us. Lots of people need help with lots of different things.”
Indeed, a kind and helpful young lady, Shea is a Junior Girl Scout and a member of Girls on the Run. As a loyal scout and an enthusiastic runner, the Florida, NY resident has taken part in such community projects as marching in parades, caroling at local nursing homes, and collecting donations for the Florida Food Pantry.
The people and animal lover is looking forward to volunteering at the Warwick Humane Society in the future, as she busies herself with caring for her own pets: a cat, a dog, two birds, and a tortoise.
Though not even in double digits, this daughter helps her mom, Nicolle, with many chores and is a huge advocate for recycling efforts.
“Shea has a giving heart, an artistic and kind soul, and a loving nature. She is sometimes goofy, sometimes serious, but has always been an amazing, loving daughter. I’m so proud to call her mine, and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her,” gleams Mom.
Shea is even active in her school’s PTA. With dad Kevin Lundell as the Golden Hill Elementary School’s PTA president, Shea is often found assisting with PTA related duties, such as counting and sorting Box Tops, and taking an active role in PTA sponsored events and monthly meetings.
“Shea is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to get more involved in our community. She has a tremendous personality and is always willing to do the next right thing. I am inspired by her,” said Kevin, who gave great thought in naming his sweet Shea.
Sheamus is Gaelic for James, the name of Kevin’s father, who is buried in Ireland. As the family members are also staunch Mets fans, the name Shea is meaningful on many levels.
In her spare time, Shea enjoys playing and hanging around with her friends and her siblings, Calysta, 15, and Elodie, 3.
With aspirations to be an equestrian and an artist, the creative, caring, and kind young heroine insists, “Don’t give up, keep trying your hardest, and above all, be nice to everybody you meet.”
The Warwick Valley Dispatch would like to feature young people of Warwick who are doing meaningful things. Whether in school, athletics, in the community or at home, we know there are many moving stories that need to be told. These “hero” stories can be from the incredible to the mundane, from the kid who saved his dog from drowning to the teen who takes care of a sibling with special needs. We ask that if you know of any young individuals who would be appropriate for these human interest pieces, that you contact Sara Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-702-3091.