A Visionary Who Is Lighting Up People’s Life
With over 2.2 billion visually impaired people worldwide who do not have access to proper healthcare and have unfortunately been living in the dark, Normanie McKenzie Ricks is an individual who recognised this dilemma and has made it her life’s mission to illuminate their lives. She is a TV show host, Vision Therapy Trailblazer, Author, Entrepreneur and Mentor but most importantly a human being who strives to make a difference in people’s lives.
Normanie is a decorated former officer of the United States Navy and has served rigorously in the healthcare sector as a Rehabilitation Clinic Manager and Occupational Therapy Clinician. She continues these efforts by being the owner and operator of Achieve Vision Center, which imparts rehabilitation to those affected by neurological deficits that further causes ailment to their vision.
Being an ardent advocate for children with disabilities all around the globe, she has served youth communities in Japan, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Zambia. Her international non-profit organization, Vision Therapy Education International is a model system that wants to make the lives of numerous people full of light and hope by aiding them to achieve an optimal functional vision. Due to her efforts, she also hosts the popular show ‘Health Facts’ with Normanie Ricks.
Scaling the heights of success early on in life, she was a scholar right from the inception and even graduated in the top 5 percent of her high school class. As a high schooler, she was awarded Track Woman of the Year by the Atlanta Track Club and her team even won two state championships and set several school and state records. Her persistence and passion followed her well through college where she was inducted into the National Honor’s Society and was named the Coca Cola Dean’s Scholar.
Normanie was also responsible for single-handedly developing an Occupational Therapy Neonatal Intensive Care program and even achieved a 100 percent customer satisfaction rating at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Her ardour for goodwill was further witnessed when she served as an essential leader in developing the Naval Medical Center’s upper extremity amputee program.
The biggest challenge Normanie had to face was as she recalls, “Because I am one of the trailblazers in the field of vision therapy, I had some findings that were not popular ideas at first. Now lots of research has been done and the findings are just as I suspected and now I am “allowed” to be vocal about them.” She finds that her core strength is GRIT which is what makes her a success. Giving credit to being an athlete in her youth she learned time management, diligence and discipline early on in life.
When she first ventured into her business, she was putting in many hours of effort. But gradually she realised that a favourable work-life balance is essential for the physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing of a person. At present, she refrains from working beyond 9 hours and also takes the weekends off. Her free time includes hiking up mountains as she feels it’s a great way to unwind by being surrounded by nature. She reveals “I enjoy watching sports of all types, especially football! In front of the television, cheering on my favourite team is my happy place!
Being a trendsetter in her field of work and having multiple feathers in her cap, she gives an insight into the strategies that can be adopted by women wanting to achieve an eminent position in the workforce. She says “First and foremost, be known and recognised as the “go-to person” in your area of expertise. If you are the most knowledgeable person on that topic in your organization, or you are the subject matter expert, others will have to respect that.”
She gets inspired by strong female entities including Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey. She even quotes Eleanor Roosevelt as her motto in life “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Her daughter is a driving force in her life and she feels proud that she wants to become a powerful businesswoman like her mother when she grows up.
Strong women like Normanie are an exemplary guide that helping others can be the biggest source of fulfillment and success one can achieve.