As a kid growing up on the Northeast side of Columbus, Vada fell prey to the constrictive narrative that society places on so many of our children of color in America - that you can only be one of three things in life - an entertainer, an exceptional athlete, or a drug dealer. Vada tried and excelled at all three before realizing that he was capable of creating his own narrative, leading him to become an author and illustrator. The death of 13 year old Tyre King (shot and killed by The Columbus Police Department) moved Vada to write and illustrate a children's book titled "The Boy Who Tried To Touch The Sun.Today, Vada speaks to youth and adults alike about the importance of writing their own story.

"The Boy Who Tried To Touch The Sun" is a story of determination that emphasizes the idea of reaching for the “impossible”. Even when faced with seemingly difficult challenges, Anu overcomes them with ease as they are not as challenging as the goal he has set for himself. The general purpose is for readers (young and old) to consider what “touching the sun” means to them.


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