Roderick Alexander, a seventh-grader at Lovonya DeJean Middle School in Richmond, is clearly a sharp kid with a promising future. But when you get to know him—and his understandably proud mom, Latanya Winfrey—you realize his present is pretty bright as well.
In fact, the impressive youngster is already a perennial honor student and even an author of sorts. Roderick brought along a handsome hardback to our interview, The Hero of Townville, which he wrote and published himself using the online platform Scribblitt.com.
“I’ve been drawing and making stories since I was about six,” says the affable Alexander. “It’s always been my passion. I want to improve even more and inspire people.”
While the youth has plenty of favorite superheroes from the world of comics, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, the main character in his storybook is purely his own creation.
“I didn’t want to copy so I tried hard to brainstorm my own superhero,” remarks the thoughtful seventh-grader, who excels in Science and English among other subjects.
“Roderick is the best kid ever,” enthuses proud mother Latanya Winfrey. “He’s never given me any problems.”
The academically adept Alexander was once honored as Student of the Month at King Elementary, and scored straight A’s in middle school last semester. He’s been on numerous honor rolls and also taken part in the Lovonya DeJean E.S.C.A.P.E. Club, standing for Environmental Science, Conservation, And Photographic Excursions. The group enjoyed an outing to Yosemite in May, and the adventurous young man also took part in For Richmond’s recent LA for a Day excursion that partnered with JetSuiteX to fly numerous 5th through 8th grade students to Los Angeles.
The Richmond-born prodigy is a longtime resident at Pullman Point Apartments and the youngest of five children. He calls his older brother and three older sisters “very supportive” of his creative endeavors. And beneath the academic excellence, Alexander really is just a regular kid who likes to have fun.
“I go over to friends’, play at the park, still play with Legos and like all kinds of video games,” he says.
Twelve Questions—Roderick Alexander
Favorite Hobby: Writing and drawing
Heroes: My parents
Favorite Number: Seven
Favorite Food: My mom’s fettuccine
Favorite Animal: Dog
Favorite Movie: Kong—Skull Island
Favorite Richmond Gem: The Plunge
Favorite Historical Figure: Rosa Parks
Best Advice Ever Received: Be yourself and live your life the way you want to
Dream Destination: Tokyo
Best Friend: Messiah
Favorite T.V. Show: The Regular Show