Book Description

You’ve seen those kids who sit silently in a corner, all but invisible. And you’ve seen the natural leaders, sometimes leading others astray. You’ve heard, “That’s gay” too many times to count, and you’ve seen students at lunchtime clumped together by race. For twelve years, Camp Everytown has been a program that addresses these as well as many other issues that students face.

In an effort to raise money for camp, and with a desire to capture the inspiring stories that I hear from camp participants year after year, I’ve written a book called A Small Candle: The Impact of Camp Everytown on our Lives. It contains stories about 15 students and staff who attended camp and experienced its power to positively shape their lives and bring an inspiring light to their community.

You’ll hear about Chris who, after getting expelled from school for sexual harassment of a teacher, swears he’ll never again treat women in degrading ways. Though Preet has been in a wheelchair all her life, she doesn’t truly understand disabilities until she is blindfolded and helpless during the disability exercise. Billy, after years of isolation and estrangement in foster care, emerges from his shell to become a gregarious and warm young man. Phuong and Frances disclose their secrets about being raped and find strength in each other to transform their lives.

At a time when we hear too many negative things about students or we hear about prejudice in our society or sexual harassment at the workplace, A Small Candle will instead inspire you with stories about people who are becoming part of the solution rather than part of the problem. As Dr. Barbara Clarke Mossberg, President Emerita Goddard College writes, “To read these stories by Kathy Gonzalez is to know something indispensable to our lives: in every person exists a desire to be good, to do good, to be a force of positive change for themselves and others.”

a small candle

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For more information you can email Kathleen

For Kathleen Gonzalez’s first book, a summer adventure with the gondoliers of Venice, visit her website at