Looking down the serving area over all the trays of food as Cindy stands at the far end describing what she prepared

Cindy served a great meal to the entire Center on September 4 as the culmination of her program. She had lots of family from Arizona with her – her Mom and sister, with two little nephews, as well as her Aunt and Uncle and two of her cousins made the long road trip from Nogales to be a part of her celebration of success and independence.

Cindy made her Uncle’s chicken recipe as part of her chicken salad, which was accompanied by a peach iced tea and strawberry shortcake. Despite a food processor malfunction the morning of her graduation, she powered through on the strength of the confidence she has gained in herself throughout her program, and on the confidence her instructors have in her.

Cindy honored two of her instructors, Delfina for Home Management and Steve for Travel, by asking them to jointly present her Freedom Bell at her graduation.

“Cindy, you are one of the most observant people I’ve ever met,” Delfina told her. “That is something that will serve you very well in life – that being aware of your surroundings. And it’s been fun to watch you gain more confidence, you’ve grown TREMENDOUSLY.”

Cindy rings her ceramic bell

Cindy worked hard right up to the moment she rang her Freedom Bell last Friday. Eight members of her family drove from Arizona to celebrate with her.

“Wow, it was a long nine months,” Cindy wise-cracked after giving her Freedom Bell a well-earned ring. Then she got serious.”I can’t believe how far I’ve come.”

The theme of the love session was growth, confidence, pride in what Cindy has achieved, and keep it going forward.

Here are a few of the comments .

Mo:”Cindy I just wanted to tell you that You’ve come such a long way on this journey to womanhood. Keep on growing.”

Joey: “We got lost together and found our way out of sticky situations. The team won’t be the same.”

Julie: “You’ve worked so hard since you’ve been here, and your personality has really come out as you’ve grown and blossomed. You’ve flourished. You have so much capacity and keep going forward.”

Cindy stands behind her woodshop project.  The large box is in the center with the smaller boxes arranged around it.

Cindy stands behind her woodshop project. The large box is in the center with the smaller boxes arranged around it.

All the friends who talked about how much they are going to miss her is a testament to that blossoming. Cindy shows us again how gaining skills and confidence in ourselves as blind people permits us to be the true person we are, to live the lives we want.

¡Vive la vida que quieres, Cindy!