Despite being born with a disability, this writer fulfilled her dreams of launching a publishing company with her husband
By Erica Blackburn
A wise man once said, “With self-discipline and passion, anything is possible.” Founder of Vision Works Publishing, Mutiya Vision, embodied that statement since the day she was born. Vision was born with one hand but they didn’t stop her from being successful.
“I was raised by a single mother who did her best to make sure my sister and I had a childhood filled with love, encouragement and support,” said Vision. “My little arm was never an issue. . . my family didn’t raise me to see myself as disabled or in need of pity.”
However, outside of her family, Vision was faced with people who treated her differently because they viewed her as “disabled”, cursed, or like a “broken object in need of fixing.” When children in her fourth grade elementary school in Harlem, New York tried to ostracize Vision, her mother moved her to another school in Maspeth Queens, where the children, as well as the staff were more accepting.
“Growing up with a “little arm” taught me many things. . . I learned that unique was beautiful; I learned not to let other people define me, or my worth; I learned to create opportunities for myself,” said Vision.
The first time she became aware of her ability to communicate and influence others in a positive way came when she was merely seven years old. Her mother suffered from depression. At times, her mother was so depressed that she wanted to erase her presence from this world.
“One day as my mom (was) preparing a bath, she said that even if she wasn’t around, she would always be with me.,” Vision said. “I cried and begged her not to leave us and I made her pinky promise she would stay alive for me and my sister . . . 30 years later she’s still on this earth and in my life.”
In addition, her mother encouraged her to express her feelings through writing. “I found my voice as a writer after my husband and I began raising a family . . . there were so many things I learned growing up and I wanted to share stories that would help children navigate through life from a positive, healthy conscious perspective.”
In 2005, Vision, and her husband, David, founded Vision Works Publishing in which they wanted to “produce a powerful line of multi-cultural children’s books that dealt with issues that children experience at one time or another.” For example, the book, What Makes Me Beautiful, deals with self-esteem by letting children know the character traits of beautiful deeds. The book, Daddy Loves His Baby Girl, shares a positive father/daughter relationship.
“Ultimately, I want Vision Works Publishing to be a titan in the children’s book publishing world,” said Vision. “In addition, to continuing to produce books that empower children to manifest destinies of greatness, I would like Vision Works Publishing to be a platform that talented up and coming youth can use to launch their careers as authors and illustrators.”
When asked how Vision Works Publishing has affected David’s life, he automatically recognized the enormous value of how reading can influence others in a positive way.
“As in the body of people, nutritious content can help strengthen the mind, body and soul,” he said. “The truth can equally be said about being a source of mental nourishment by way of inspiring knowledge and understanding.”
Through their books, David Vision is hoping they will assist readers into exploring the depths of themselves.
“If people understood human potential, the mechanics of happiness or rage, reason for failure or success, and the purpose and value of human beings, we can transform our life experience beyond imagination,” David said.
Some of the latest projects Vision Works Publishing is working on include a children’s book called Little Arm & Me, which is about a girl born with a little arm. In addition, Mutiya Vision founded a private school called Choice Scholars.
“It’s a natural progression in my career empowering children and allows me to use the education and experience I gained obtaining my Master’s Degree in Childhood Education and my credentials as a certified teacher,” said Mutiya. It is slated to open its doors in September 2012.
How can our readers help?
“Much of our growth has been based on word of mouth recommendations,” said Mutiya. “Your readers can help by thinking of the children in their lives they want to empower and order books from our catalog that speak to those children . . .if you are parents, you can introduce our books to teachers . . .you can share our books on www.visionworkspub.com with family and friends, including friends on Facebook, twitter and other social media . . .We look forward to connecting with the energy of your readers.”
Erica Blackburn, an intern for emPower magazine, is a third year broadcast journalism student at Hampton University.
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