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Girl Becomes Youngest Business Owner in Fresno County

You won't find one of the Central Valley's newest business owner wearing slacks and dress shoes, toting a briefcase or headed to a board room.

Instead, you'll find her wearing sneakers and jeans, carrying a backpack, on her way-- to a third grade classroom.

Danay Ferguson is only eight years old.

This week, she became the youngest person to file for a business name with Fresno Countyin the county's history.

Her business is rooted in her love for reading.

She eventually wants to become a librarian.

"Reading makes me learn new things at the end of a book and it also gets me inspired," she says.

Danay decided in the fall, that she wanted to collect books not to keep, but to donate to families in area hospitals.

Within weeks, the books took over her family's condominium.

Now, there's easily more than a thousand.

She has a lofty goal.

"She wanted to collect 100 millionbut her mother and I said that's probably not gonna happen," says Dwayne Ferguson, Danay's father.

"She wakes up and reads, she reads in a car, stoplight, she falls asleep with a book in her hand."

With such a huge collection of books, Danay told her father she wanted to open a bookstore.

"I explained that to open a business there are steps, it's not a hobby," says Ferguson.

So, Danay started by choosing a name.

"When I read, I usually always read with my heart, so I chose Reading Heart," she says.

Their next step: filing for a fictitious business name.

They headed to the Fresno County Clerk's Office last week.

"They didn't know what to do," says Ferguson. "We were told they needed to look into it with the state."

"No no one else as young as me opened up their business," adds Danay.

Once workers had to get the okay from the state, Danay and her father returned Monday.

Most of the application process was by computer.

When it came time to sign documents, Danay was hesitant -- she's still learning to write in cursive.

"Instead my daddy got to sign it," she says.

Like any business owner, she goes to meetings.

She presented her business plan to Pedro Santana, the Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald house.

"She's going to be something!" said Santana.

She will be donating books for families on February 16th.

"She's off school that day," says Ferguson.

Her next goal: donate books to the kids inside Valley Children's Hospital.

Ferguson says someone is donating a custom, hospital-height cart to wheel into rooms.

"When I was thinking about the kids in the hospital they sometimes get bored, but when they get a book, they could also use their imagination," she says.

Danay is accepting donations of books and money to buy more books.

If you'd like to help, you can visit the website for Reading Heart here.

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