A smile slid across Stephanie Sorensen’s lips.
“No. It didn’t even cross my mind,” she said. “I was like, ‘What do they want from me? What’s the catch?’”
The Pasco County teacher and volunteer firefighter never thought she would inspire a comic book hero. Six of her autistic students that she helped in the classroom all year gathered at her feet Friday morning to hear Sorensen read a few pages from a new FireGirl comic.
“Ben is right! There is a new villain introduced to the story,” she read to the group, hanging on her every word.
FireGirl inspiration from Pasco County
A brightly colored, muscular character with fire for hair practically leaped off the page at the children. FireGirl, created by Crushed Ego Studios out of Orlando, is a superhero character from the web-only FireGirl comic that tries to save the day with super fire powers.
“I try to teach them that we all have a superhero inside of us and it’s about pushing hard and working through to overcome,” said Sorensen, who helped plan the plot and develop the FireGirl character.
Crushed Ego Studios found Sorensen during the volunteer firefighter’s 2016 social media campaign to win the Step UP and Step Out initiative.
The studio, led by artist Larry Spike Jarrell, is releasing a new page each Monday and Thursday. To date, 12 pages are available online. Sorensen hopes FireGirl inspires others.
“I think that the hair on fire is awesome,” she said with a smile.
The next goal is to make a fire safety edition. The comic will be printed later this year and is available for pre-sale now. Sorensen intends to use a portion of sales to buy sensory and educational material that she can use with the autistic students in her classroom.
Sorensen became a volunteer firefighter to overcome fear of fire.