Vika’s Monster Route: It’ll Turn Your Hair Blue!
As students near the end of their program, they must plan and execute a “Monster Route.” Listen to Vika talk about hers. She graduates in a week!
Marcus: Flourishing as an Independent Blind Person
“I knew you would flourish here,” Julie Deden said to Marcus at his bell ceremony on February 5. “When you came down from Montana for a tour with your Dad, you were so interested and excited about everything.”
Marcus worked as a journeyman electrician in Montana before becoming blind two years ago. He operated his own business with his Dad Chris after that, making custom furniture. A practical problem-solver, he knew he needed more skills as ablind person and so came to the Center in 2015 on the recommendation of his VR Counselor.
Naturally, he was especially interested in learning nonvisual techniques in the woodshop.… Read the rest “Marcus: Flourishing as an Independent Blind Person”
Daniel: To Be the Best Blind Guy You Can Be
“You really raised the bar,” Julie Deden said of Daniel’s graduation meal on March 4. “I think this is the biggest grad meal we’ve ever had.”
She didn’t mean just the number of guests Daniel served – there were 80 in all – but because he cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for those 80 guests.
The guests included family members such as his Mom and Step-dad, brother, Grandma and Pops (all live in the Denver area) and his Dad and brother who traveled from Mississippi to Colorado for the occasion, as well as close friends from church. That’s not all though – there were a dozen students from Rice University and their faculty advisor who were at the Center as part of their Alternate Spring Break, several recent grads from the Denver area, as well as our Tech Instructor Chris Parsons and her one-month-old son Jackson (Chris is on maternity leave).… Read the rest “Daniel: To Be the Best Blind Guy You Can Be”
James Earns His Bell: Moving Forward with His Life
James and I talked on the phone for months and months before he came to the Center,” Julie Deden told the 60-plus guests at James’ graduation ceremony on February 12. “And one thing we all know about you now James is that once you have your mind made up you go for it and make it happen.”
James came from Tennessee after a lengthy struggle to get funding to attend the Center. Blind for only a few years as a result of an accident, James’ gentle spirit and signature drawl combined to endear him to all. No one was asked more often to help other students serve their mini-meals or graduation meals.… Read the rest “James Earns His Bell: Moving Forward with His Life”
Jenny’s Bell: Of Brussels Sprouts and Self-determination
“Jenny is a woman who is very creative and unique, and you may find yourself experiencing things you’ve never experienced before when you spend time with Jenny.”
That was Julie Deden’s remark on January 20 as she prepared to present Jenny with her Freedom Bell. It’s very true, because it was elicited by the fact that Jenny had just served us all Brussels sprouts. Even more astonishing – we liked them!
“I know you’ll be able to do anything you put your mind to,” continued Julie.
Jenny became blind overnight about a year before coming to the Center for training.… Read the rest “Jenny’s Bell: Of Brussels Sprouts and Self-determination”
I Came to My Future: Vicki
“Vicki’s coming out of this ready to go,” observed Robert at Vicki’s graduation on Januray 8, “and the rest of you are going to have to work to keep up.”
He was right about that. Vicki came with the intention of squeezing out every last drop of opportunity and learning.
“This was a long time coming,” commented Vicki when her bell had sounded her chimes of freedom. “I had wanted this for a long time, and I knew almost immediately this was the right place to be.”
Vicki came to the Center from Oklahoma, and her Mom and sister and brother-in-law and more came for her celebration.… Read the rest “I Came to My Future: Vicki”
Penny’s Bell: You Encouraged Me & Wouldn’t Give Up on Me
Penny received the first Freedom Bell awarded in 2016 on January 7. The first thing she did after ringing it loud and proud was to thank her husband Rick.
“You encouraged me and you wouldn’t give up on me,” she said after serving her grad meal to 60 guests, which included other family members and close friends from church, along with all the staff and students at the Center.
“It was a tough road,” she said of starting as a part-time student, then transitioning into full-time and living in our apartments on the south end of the Denver Metro area during the week, returning home to be with Rick on the north side of the Metro area on weekends.… Read the rest “Penny’s Bell: You Encouraged Me & Wouldn’t Give Up on Me”
Two Videos with Richie
Richie’s been at the Center in our Independence Training Program for a couple of months now. A former student in our summer youth program, he hit the ground running in January. Here are two videos . The first about his gift to Locks of Love. In the second, he’s on the slopes at Lake Eldora, the footage captured by his skit guide with the Center’s GoPro camera.
Shelby: Don’t hide Your Lamp Under a Duck’s Nest
Monday afternoons our art class meets with our long-time teacher and friend Ann Cunningham to make tactile are pieces from stone, clay, paper or whatever creative fancy strives to take flight.
Shelby will graduate next month, and she’s been a fixture in art class since last fall. Here she is `with her latest art project, titled “Beacon”. She started out to make the two maroon ducks sitting on their lime green nest, but along the way got the idea of a kind of lamp, its light shining from one of their mouths. So after she fired and lazed the piece, she went out to the hardware store to get the wiring and put it all together.… Read the rest “Shelby: Don’t hide Your Lamp Under a Duck’s Nest”