Eyes Like Mine Inc. is a non profit 501-C3 organization established in March of 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. It was founded by Krystle Allen, a Newark native, to empower, enlighten, and innovate communities in New Jersey about vision loss and the available resources for people with vision loss. At it’s inception, Elm Inc. was founded with the help of Naquela Wright and Ihsaan R. Muhammad Esq., along with the founder Krystle Allen to introduce a unique pattern of advocacy for individuals who are vision impaired or blind.
To share awareness about the abilities and potentials of individuals with vision loss through advocacy and community outreach, comprehensive empowerment workshops, and awareness events.
To inspire advocacy by breaking down the societal barriers placed against individuals who are previously or currently experiencing vision loss. Our ultimate goal is to create a more accessible society for individuals who are vision impaired and blind so that they can live, learn, and work in equal opportunities.
Meet the Board
Krystle Allen, a Newark New Jersey native, is a millennial entrepreneur and has created a 501 C 3 Tax Exempt not for profit organization called “Eyes Like Mine, Inc.”, which advocates for
blind and visually impaired and persons. The mission of ELM, Inc. is to share awareness regarding the potential of individuals with vision loss through community service initiatives,
community development and comprehensive empowerment workshops. Two staple events created and hosted by Eyes Like Mine, Inc. are “The Ms. Blind Diva Empowerment Pageant (in June) “and “Dancing with the Blind” (Fall). For additional information please view www.eyeslikemineinc.org .
Currently, Krystle serves as a second -term AmeriCorps Vista member with the Girls Scouts Heart of NJ located in Montclair. There, she works to develop volunteer programming, reuniting daughters in the troops with their incarcerated mothers and building troops under their Juliette’s House transitional housing program.
Previously, Krystle had worked with the Montclair YMCA for eight years in the youth extended care program. Assisting and empowering communities to progress towards self sufficiency is a passion of hers. In addition to her work and involvement with the community she is a disability advocate on a mission to be on the forefront to help empower others..
A 2003 graduate of University HS, Krystle was also educated at Essex County College with a main concentration of Social Science.
In 2005, Krystle was selected to travel to Japan as a delegate on a US/Japan Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Disability and Volunteerism Exchange Program through Mobility International USA.
Currently, Krystle is a fellow in the Leadership Newark Class of 2020 and enrolled in the 2019 LISC Neighbors Helping Neigbors Leadership Intiative. Lastly, Krystle continues to advocate for those in need through organization such as: The National Federation for the Blind, Community Lifestyles, The Non Profit Professional Network of NJ, Arthouse Production Access Committee, Newark Women’s Commission, My Sistahs’ Keeper. In spite of her vision loss; she has a vision to impact one person and one community at a time with dedication to serve.
Naquela Charmaine Wright was born on December 25, 1991. Ms. Wright is a native of Newark, NJ, whom as a child she loved to sing, write songs, dance, and even dabble in boxing. While she was in school she was active in athletics and an avid supporter of her school. She graduated from Westside high school. She dedicated a year of volunteering as a counselor in her the local Girl Scout Troop. Her plans came to an abrupt halt, when she lost her sight in 2010. She was diagnosed with pseudo tumor cerebri. Her initial reaction to this abrupt change left her shocked, sad and angry. Despite, the doctor’s diagnosis, Mrs. Wright made many positive plans for her to move forward wither new life.
One of her first steps to independence was when she participated in the Joseph Kohn Training Center (JKTC), for people who are vision impaired and blind, there she learned how to cook, clean, utilize technology adapting in her adjustment to vision loss as a person new to blindness. Attending the facility coupled with being around people enduring similar vision loss situations gave her support to reach for her dreams even more. Subsequently, one month after training at JKTC, Naquela found that she was expecting her 1st child.
Her initial reservations left her wondering if she could be a good parent despite her blindness. On December 28, 2011 she gave birth to Aaron. Naquela, is living proof that when challenges arise facing them allows one to conquer them. Her optimistic outlook on life led her to enroll at the Institute of Therapeutic Massage there, she obtained her certification as a Therapeutic masseuse.
Ms. Wright also enrolled in Essex County College on a journey to experience life as a single mom in college. In this institution she majors in psychology. Juggling college and motherhood are proving to be a challenge, however, Naquela still makes time to pursue her career as a songstress. She most recently competed in auditions for the voice, American idol, X factor, Newark Idol Lincoln Park festival 2014 as wells as a first place winning performance in the All-Star show.
Currently, she is the Vice President Eyes Like Mine, Inc. Naquela is continuing to soar through life with optimism for the future filled success, determination and smiles. Truly exemplifying the credo of Eyes Like Mine, “vision loss does not break us it builds us.”
Brandon Scott is a member of the Eyes Like Mine marketing community. Although he is only 30 years old, he's been overcoming obstacles for 28 years. At the tender age of 2, Brandon was faced with a battle with Retinoblastoma. The disease rendered him totally blind but not without opportunities to achieve success and happiness. Brandon's strong support system, ambition and determination help him to accomplish many of his goals. He used assistive technology.
Amongst his proudest achievements is 2 championships he won while wrestling for Red Bank Regional High School. Of equal importance to Brandon is service in the community. He is a mentor, a tutor and a volunteer wrestling coach. He currently is an intern at The Lunch Break which is a soup kitchen, food pantry and clothing closet. Brandon currently attends Georgian Court University where he hopes to graduate in May with his Bachelors in Social Work.