An Encinitas woman is aiming to empower the lives of girls around the world through a series of children's books.
Erin Weidemann, CEO of the Bible Belles and a former middle school teacher, quit her job 18 months ago and began writing "The Adventures of Rooney Cruz" series.
The books tell the stories of real-life women through five pillars of character: prayer, patience, bravery, loyalty and leadership.
"With all the pressure of social media, relationships and friendships that kids experience, I really want to create a redirect in their thinking and the way they approach life," Weidemann said. "I want them to realize early that they can be bold, confident and learn to explore the unique ways that they are qualified to influence the people around them."
She said it is important for girls to have strong female role models to look up to that will influence the positive positions they can play in society and how they can touch other people.
She also offers speaking engagements, workshops and seminars for women of all ages. In addition, she hosts the "Heroes for Her" podcast, where she interviews celebrities, actors, musicians and other positive women.
Weidemann's latest written edition, "Deborah: The Belle of Leadership," was released March 15. The book tells the story of a woman who led troops onto a battlefield in support of those who were oppressed.
"She's this really cool example of what can happen when you own the fear of influence you've been assigned to and you step into that role with boldness, power and strength," Weidemann said of Deborah.
This is also the first release in which Weidemann is working with World Vision since she signed an exclusive agreement in December. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that helps children, families and communities overcome poverty. Weidemann plans to send one copy to girls in underprivileged countries for every book sold.
Working with girls in underprivileged countries resonates with Weidemann and her husband. They sponsor a four-year-old Honduran girl named Andrea, who shares the same birthday with their daughter, Rooney.
"It's a really nice way to get our daughter thinking outside the four walls of our home and, ultimately, how she can be a blessing to other people in a really practical way," Weidemann said.
Rooney, she added, is named after the "Bible Belles" 9-year-old protagonist.
"It got really real and personal for me and my husband as we became parents ourselves, starting to think about, 'Yes, we want to help other girls,'" Weidemann said. "But at the end of the day, we want to help our own daughter understand this truth about who she is so she can go out and do the work that she was created for."
For more information, visit www.erinweidemann.com and