Carol Cujec is an educator and author. Inspired by her friend and co-author Peyton Goddard, she is also an enthusiastic advocate for inclusion.
Carol grew up in Wisconsin, running through backyards playing kick the can or hiding out with a book on frigid winter days. From Wisconsin, her family moved to Virginia, where she attended the College of William and Mary.
She has been teaching writing and French for more than 25 years at colleges on the east and west coast.
Today, Carol lives with her husband and three kids in San Diego, California. They have a shoe-chewing rescue dog named Sadie and a purry orange feline named Orson, who has used up more than nine lives in his ongoing suicidal escapades. Her favorite things include yoga, cooking, playing guitar with her daughter and, of course, hiding out with a good book.
Carol's latest book, written with Peyton Goddard, is a middle-grade novel, called Real, which invites young readers into the world of a girl with nonspeaking autism. Peyton wants kids to understand autism not as a disability so much as a different way of experiencing the world. Real is a groundbreaking story that celebrates the magic that happens when we value and include all people.
Peyton Goddard knows how it feels to be labeled as incapable of learning. For twenty-two years, her unpredictable body and inability to speak led people to assume she was mentally challenged. Once she gained a dependable mode of communication, not only did she learn, she graduated from college as valedictorian.
Today, she is an advocate for inclusion who writes and presents about valuing all people and protecting those most vulnerable from abuse. Her message centers on “changing this worrisome world” through compassionate understanding and support for all.
Peyton lives with support in her own apartment, adjacent to her parents’ home in San Diego. For more information on Peyton's advocacy, visit her website: http://peytongoddard.com/