As the founder of Make A Way Media, It Pays to Read, and the Louisville Book Festival, Deedee Cummings believes literacy is a fundamental human right. Cummings is a mom, attorney, therapist, and CEO of Abi Behavioral Health in Louisville, Kentucky. Abi is an intensive therapy agency that works to prevent the placement of children in out-of-home care, such as foster care, hospitalization, and incarceration. All seventeen of Cummings’ books draw from messages she has learned through her work with children and families. Her work highlights inspiring messages that help young dreamers and doers “see themselves” in the pages of the books they read while reinforcing a need for more empathy and kindness. Cummings founded Make A Way Media in 2014 after struggling to find books with characters who looked like her own children, including an extreme lack of stories that reflected their life experiences. She has spent more than two decades working in the family therapy and support field. Much of her writing shares her experience of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to talking about their own mental health or asking for help. Cummings’ work has been featured in USA Today, Essence Magazine, Parents Magazine, Forbes, and the Huffington Post.