Courtney (left) with Jake Glaser
(Photo: Courtney Sheinmel)
Courtney Sheinmel, 32, a lifelong EGPAF friend and supporter, is passionate about the fight against pediatric AIDS. She also has another passion: writing.
Courtney had always written stories as a child, but became more enthusiastic about writing while she was practicing law. Now a full-time author, Courtney recently published her second "tween" novel, Positively
, which depicts the story of a teenage girl, Emmy, who loses her mother to AIDS and learns to grow up living with HIV. A portion of the proceeds from Positively
benefits EGPAF’s programs.
Nearly 20 years ago, Courtney opened People
magazine and was introduced to the story of Elizabeth Glaser. Inspired by Elizabeth’s determination, Courtney began sending small portions of her babysitting money to the Foundation. Each month, when she received her personalized Foundation thank-you letter, Courtney felt more connected to the cause, and soon sought a more active role in the Foundation’s work.
At 14, Courtney began volunteering in the Foundation’s tiny, one-room office in Santa Monica. She grew to be close friends with Susie Zeegen, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s seven-year-old son, Jake.
In the early years, Courtney coordinated bake sales and charity drives in her school and temple, and spoke publicly about AIDS awareness at school assemblies. After Courtney graduated from law school in New York City, she helped organize even more ambitious fundraising events for EGPAF, including rooftop parties, a bowling competition, and a fashion show.
When she started work on Positively
, Courtney was nervous about writing a story from a perspective she hasn't personally experienced, but Jake Glaser encouraged her to keep writing -- perhaps knowing how much insight she had gained through her involvement with EGPAF.
] is fictional,” Courtney says, “but entirely personal. I’m hoping the book can give readers a little bit of the understanding that Elizabeth gave me.”
To purchase a copy of Positively
, published by Simon and Schuster, please visit: http://www.courtneysheinmel.com/books.html