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Jessica's Story

Dec 17, 2013

Jessica has optic atrophy. She’s been receiving services from ABVI since she was 5 years old. Her mother, who also has optic atrophy, always told Jessica she could be anything she wanted to be. And Jessica is determined that nothing is going to slow her down!

With an infectious smile and laugh, Jessica brightens the world for those around her. She’s been a cheerleader since she was four. She loves making videos with her friends and sharing them with people around the world. And she really loves roller coasters.

Jessica feels that ABVI’s children’s programs like Summer Sizzle and Winter Chill have given her much more confidence. This confidence helps her when other kids make fun of her for being visually impaired or when she wonders why she has to be visually impaired when the other kids aren’t. She says part of what she loves about ABVI’s programs is having the opportunity to meet other kids who are blind or visually impaired because they can understand what she struggles with sometimes. And that’s an important part of what ABVI does—help those who are blind or visually impaired realize they are not alone and there is still so much they can accomplish.

But giving a child or teenager who is blind or visually impaired the ability to learn, grow and experience life in a similar way to their sighted peers takes resources, talent, and commitment—the kind of commitment we’ve brought to the community for over 100 years. You’ve been an important part of that commitment, and with your help we’ll keep helping kids like Jessica.

This past year, Jessica took part in a new program called Career Explorers. Designed to broaden the horizons of kids who are blind or visually impaired, this program gave participants a chance to meet people and learn about careers that affect their lives every day: firefighters, broadcasters, entrepreneurs, musicians, animators, police officers, and farmers. It gave Jessica a wonderful insight into the opportunities available to her when she gets older.

Success stories like Jessica’s couldn’t happen without generous support from people like you and we’re so grateful for what you’ve done for us. Please consider making another gift today so we can keep helping kids like Jessica have a clear vision of what they want their future to hold.