Toya Lorraine Gooden received a BA Degree in Communications from Mid America Nazarene University in 2003. Presently, she is pursuing certification in drug addiction counseling as she continues her writing career. Her first book, Beneath My Perceptions was published in 2007. Toya has been a columnist for local newspapers and she is a motivational speaker with the Jackson County Family Court where she speaks to troubled teens. Toya has received numerous awards for her volunteerism including the Volunteer of the Year Award from Jackson County Family Court and the Don D. Sewing Prestigious Service Award for outstanding commitment and service to Friends of Yates, Inc. Toya is very purpose driven. She knows her limitations do not define her. While she had kidney failure and on dialysis, she took advanced college courses, attended modeling school, and received a kidney transplant. Despite these challenges, her determination and courageous spirit continue to propel her forward. Toya's desire is to inform and encourage children and others to realize that God has purpose for their lives and to put their faith in Him. In her book, Lyric's Lenses, the main character, Lyric is a fourth grader who wants to make friends. This is difficult for Lyric because she walks differently. God intervenes and gives Lyric a set of lenses to see that He is taking care of her. Her lenses show her to pray for her classmates. Book 2 of Lyric's Lenses, to be released in 2016, shows more of Lyric's courage and determination to become a cheerleader in middle school. Toya's philosophy is, "If I can do it, so can you, just trust God." She resides in Kansas City, Kansas and attends the Living Word Church.