SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – There are nearly 3 million Americans who stutter, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Sherrikka Myers, of South Carolina, started working to help, as many children as possible, who battle with stuttering.
The foundation also helps children battle self esteem issues, bullying and other topics.
As a child, Myers struggled with speech.
But, through reading out loud to herself daily, she managed to overcome her stutter.
“Even though, I’m learning, I taught myself how to speak at a normal pace. I’m doing kids a dis-justice or a disservice not being able to help them,” Myers said.
In addition to her nonprofit, she began a book series following the main character, Lil Herbie.
She said she wanted to create a fun and easy book that young children could read aloud from, like when she was young, and it’d help tackle their stutter.
Myers first published book of the series, Herbie’s New Home, is based off her own childhood.
The story talks about Lil Herbie having to move to a new city and make friends, but being afraid of rejection because of his stutter.
Myers’ family moved to South Carolina when she was a young girl and that was her greatest fear.
The main character, Lil Herbie, was inspired by her grandson Herbert who stutters.
“He just said ‘Granny, I can’t say it.’ I looked at him and it was almost like I was looking in the mirror at myself. I told him, ‘Don’t you ever say that you can’t do anything or you can’t say it. Just take your time and say it’,” Myers said.
Myers said her grandson inspired her to give all children the confidence to over come stuttering, and anything else that could stand in their way.
In addition to the nonprofit, Myers created a Lil Herbie Youtube Series.
The channel has several videos between one to three minutes that highlight a word of the day, spell that word, and then showcase a scenario in which the word is used.
Myers also travels to different schools in South Carolina to talk to children about stuttering, supporting one another, and just having fun.
Myers said helping the kids, helped her.
“I can finally look in the mirror and see who I am,” Myers said.
In honor of Black History Month, she’s focused on celebrities who had a stutter but overcame it.
Myers said it’s important for kids to know you can be great with a stutter.
“Kendrick Lamar, Steve Harvey, Bo Jackson, and Samuel Jackson. Some of those are great celebrities who stutter, who actually been through it and now they’re doing a great job,” Myers said.