Mount St. Michael Eighth-Grader on the Rise With Second Book


Denar Ralph, 14, wrote and self-published a book in 2017 about the art of succeeding. He also wrote and self-published a book in 2018 about the same subject. The eighth-grade student at Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx says he wants to inspire other youths to climb the ladder of success.

“I’ve always liked to write, and I used to write every day about stuff I like to do,” Denar told CNY at the school last week.

“I realized how blessed I was, and I came to be inspired by certain people. And I decided to put it into a book, so that I can inspire people through my life.”

He views his first book as an inspirational biography, and his second book as an inspirational journal.

His most recent book is titled, “The Daily Climb: 31 Days of Inspiration to Help You Climb Your Ladder to Success.” His first book is called, “Climbing the Ladder to Success.”

In the “31 Days” book, Denar explains, “Being a winner is not about being the best, the first or the greatest. Being a winner is about accomplishing things. Winners get it done. Someone who makes their dreams come true is a true winner.”

His big plans for his own future include pursuing a law degree at Harvard.

In his “Climbing” book, the youth quotes Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Denar said his determination and strong work ethic, and his trust in the Lord, come from his parents. Both of his books were self-published through

Denar is also an artist and has learned to play the piano by ear; he also has perfected the art of origami, and his unique origami floral arrangements are sold for special occasions and events. He also serves as the keyboardist at school gatherings with the Mount’s Gospel Choir.

Mount St. Michael Academy, administered by the Marist Brothers, provides a Catholic, college-preparatory education to young men, grades 6 to 12.

Brother Steve Schlitte, F.M.S., the school principal, called Denar “a great kid.”

“He works hard and his classmates look up to him,” Brother Schlitte said. “He has an incredible future ahead of him.”

Denar, the youngest of four siblings, is the son of Denroy and Patricia Ralph. Both parents were born and raised in Antigua. His dad is a subcontractor in yacht construction, and his mom is a guidance counselor in the New York City public school system. They are among the most positive influences in Denar’s life, along with several teachers over the years, and baseball trailblazer Jackie Robinson and former President Barack Obama.

Denar said his parents, who are Pentecostal, value the call for Christian unity.

In the preface to “31 Days,” Mrs. Ralph wrote of her son, “His message to youth is simple; you can claim your purpose in life at a young age.”


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