Categories
Independence Training Program Youth Services

A Send-off for Two Colleagues and Friends

Not only did we say good-bye to our 24 summer students in the past week, we also saw the departure of two friends and colleagues who’ve been with us for much of July.

a man and a woman wearing sleepshades analyze traffic patterns at an intersection
Kimie Beverly works with Cane Travel Instructor Steve Patten at the corner of S. Prince and Alamo in Littleton. She joins the NFB’s Governmental Affairs team this week.

We’ve been excited to host Kimie Beverly as a student for the past three weeks. Kimie is President of the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada and a past NFB Scholarship recipient. Sunday she flies to Baltimore where she starts on Monday working at our National Center for the Blind on legislative initiatives such as the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment , or TIME Act. Americans with disabilities relegated to the injustice and indignity of subminimum wages have a new champion in Kimie Beverly! It’s been great to have you with us Kimie!

a young man and a teenager with cane and sleepshades cross a suburban intersection
Will Reynolds works with summer student Keaton. Will completed part of his practicum for a Master’s degree with CCB this summer.

Will Reynolds also spent a couple of weeks with us at the Center completing practicum hours for his Master’s from the University of Northern Colorado. He plans to become an Orientation & Mobility Specialist working in K-12 schools. Will was particularly interested to work in a setting such as the Colorado Center for the Blind which uses sleepshades as a learning tool. He worked with our summer students for two

weeks before joining the Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy in Westminister this week. At this writing, Will has a job offer for the upcoming school year. We wish Will the best and look forward to a long collaboration.

Categories
Youth Services

Summer’s end 2016 …

A young woman and young man with guitar perform before a seated crowd. They wear stunning hats.
“It’s all about that cane, ’bout that cane, ’bout that cane … ” Vanessa S. and Alejandro borrowed a melody and got the biggest cheer – a roar, actually – at the talent show on Wednesday.

If only the Beach Boys were right about “Endless Summer”! This summer is ending, but 24 students from Colorado and five other states as well as Mexico, there were some great moments. From Denver’s 16th Street Mall to rafting on Clear Creek, from cooking in the kitchen to rock climbing at Eldorado Canyon, from canoeing, work experience or campus visits, to the NFB Convention in Orlando … they gained the confidence of conquering it all, these are young people with a future!

two counselors and two students working on slices of garlic bread
Frankie, Kaila, Brittany and Will working to season the garlic bread for the big meal

Today the last of our Summer students passed through DIA to catch their flights home. Wednesday was the big graduation Celebration, with a meal for over 100 cooked entirely by the students, awarding of certificates and a talent show.

The great lesson of the summer was summed up by Christian as the students and staff had a final moment together before serving their guests. In essence, Chris told his fellow students, “You all now know that you can be yourselves – you can take your canes to school and be yourselves.”

For those returning to high school where the temptation is sometimes overwhelming to “not stand out” by carrying a white cane, it was a powerful message.

But it was Vanessa S in her fedora that got the entire room rocking at the talent show with a re-purposed tune. “It’s all about that cane, ’bout that cane, ’bout that cane – and sleepshades …” she chanted to Alejandro’s guitar accompaniment and cheers and rhythmic hand-clapping from the audience.

 

Three students inside a serving window, each serving from a different pan of food
Chris, Kaila and Marie on the serving line. They served 120 guests at Summer Graduation.

Yesterday students and their counselors cleaned their apartments and packed. The first van of students left the apartments about 4:30 this morning.

So, enjoy a couple of photos, and a couple of Face Book posts from the past day or so …

From Terri

Great last day at the center, I’m going to miss this place especially with the amazing ppl I’ve met. I’ve glad I’ve learned to deal with my blindness! It’s a tough situation but I just have to get through life looking to positive thoughts. The two people I will never forget Brittany B and Frankie. I will miss them a lot and would love to thank them for the times they dealt with me through thick and thin. It was a blessing to meet both of you and also the others. Love all smile emoticon

From Frankie

To my girls from apartment 205:

Thank you for spending your summer cooking, cleaning, laughing, crying, jamming out, watching movies, adventuring, and making some incredible memories with me! It has been such a joy to get to know both of you and to see how far you have come throughout the program. You both are like little sisters to me and I couldn’t be prouder!! Each of you had your own goals to work towards and I think you both went above and beyond what you expected of yourselves!

I wish you both, as well as all of my amazing students, the best of luck in the year ahead! Never stop believing in yourselves and your abilities, and
know I’m just a call or text away if you need anything! I love you nerds, and I am going to miss you!

💛, your favorite Hufflepuff weirdo
—  with Terri and Marie at Colorado Center for the Blind

Students and counselors lined up in choir fashion singing
The group finale, of the talent show this year was the NFB’s theme song, “Live the Life You Want”.
Categories
General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Summer Jobs Wrapping Up

Hard to believe our summer programs are coming to an end. Today summer Earn & Learn students are finishing up their 40-hour internships across the Metro area. Not only do they gain valuable work experience – for some it’s their first paid job – but they travel independently to their job sites on foot and by public transportation.  Jobs include
retail, reception, food service, checking web accessibility, radio production in Boulder, child care and all the chores at a riding stable, among others.  Thanks to all of our employers for supporting our students!  Hope you can all make to the draduation ceremony next Wednesday!

Angel Concept

Arapahoe Community College

Audio Information Network of Colorado AIN)

Auraria Early Learning Center

The Colorado Center for the Blind

GraceFull Community Cafe

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado

Pawcuz, Inc., Brad Basta, CEO

The Right Step, Inc.

Will recording a PSA for CCB at the AIN,
Will recording a PSA for CCB at the AIN,
Da’jon with his employer at GraceFull
Da’jon with his employer at GraceFull
Isaac all dressed up in a jacket and tie for his Summer Employment position
Isaac all dressed up in a jacket and tie for his Summer Employment position
Christina works on cleaning and polishing a saddle
Christina works on cleaning and polishing a saddle
Keaton works on cleaning and polishing a large cinch
Keaton works on cleaning and polishing a large cinch
Marie holds up a bridle which she took apart, cleaned and re-assembled complete with bit
Marie holds up a bridle which she took apart, cleaned and re-assembled complete with bit
Emma uses a laptop to get information from a database for a survey
Emma uses a laptop to get information from a database for a survey
Anna reads through a Braille list of Newsline users for a survey
Anna reads through a Braille list of Newsline users for a survey
Vanessa S. works the phone at the CCB Front Desk
Vanessa S. works the phone at the CCB Front Desk

 

Categories
Home Management Independence Training Program

Knight’s No-choice Cafe: Warren’s Philly Mini-meal

It was a true taste of Philly when Warren served his Mini-meal for fifteen last month.

HIGHLIGHTING the menu were Amorosa Kaiser Rolls flown direct from the bakery in Philly and iced Wawa coffee. And there were other touches, despite the No-choice ‘menu … ut we’ll let Warren and his guests tell you all about it:

Categories
Senior Programs

Seniors & @WEFitWellness – You Gotta Move!

A young woman in line with three seniors exercising
Jessica of WE Fit Wellness got our Tuesday Seniors’ group moving this week.

This week Jessica Beecham led a workouq for our Tuesday morning Seniors group.  It’s part of our partnership with WE Fit Wellness. To stay healthy, we gotta keep moving!

Categories
Events General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Summer students take their shot with water rockets!

Saturday, July 16 was our Summer Science Seminar. With 24 summer youth we divided into three groups and rotated between three science activities. Martin strapped on the Go Pro and followed all three groups through their water rocket activity with Jamie Principato, a blind physics student who just finished her Associate’s degree at Arapahoe Community College in May. Jamie will enter the University of Colorado-Boulder in August. Oh yeah, Jamie is also our Math Tutor.

Categories
Braille General Colorado Center Information Youth Services

Summer Interns at @TheRightStepInc Braille the Saddle Bags

Christina, Keaton and Marie are working as interns for our long-time partners, The Right Step this summer. In fact, it’s Marie’s second year in our summer program and working at The Right Step. Their work includes cleaning stalls, cleaning old horse shoes to be reused, cleaning tack and taking care of the horses.

This morning they cleaned tack and then helped put up new Braille labels in the tack room. That’s the subject of this short video.

As an FYI, each horse has its own bag with its very own curry comb and brush, halter, lead rope and hoof pick.

The Right Step is a therapeutic riding program and the first of its kind in the U.S. to have Braille – not just in the tack room, but on the horses’ stalls too!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information

So Much to Keep Up With, Too Fun to Miss Any!

Chris Parsons looks at some peaches starting to develop on one of our trees
Chris Parsons looks at some peaches starting to develop on one of our trees in the garden.

Showe with a beautiful Japanese eggplant from the gardenIt’s a rocking week at the Center! After being away at the NFB Convention for two of our Tuesday gardening days, the Tech classes checked things out this week. Japanese eggplant was ready and everyone got a little excited about the peach tree we planted a couple of years ago. It’s the first year it’s big enough to really bear fruit, and it is!

We have a couple of new ITP students. Also, Will is a grad student at UNC and is doing part of his practicum in Orientation and Mobility with us for three weeks. And Alfred D’Agostino, Chair of the Chemistry Department at Notre Dame of Maryland is hear this week teaching our students the fundamentals of the Talking Lab Quest from Independence Science and its applications in Chemistry. Dr. D’Agostino has taught college chemistry for more than 20 years.

And then there are the mini-meals and so much more happening this week! Like summer kids canoeing and ITP students rock climbing. In fact, Alfred, a former Boy Scout Troop leader, will join the rock climbers tomorrow!

Then it’s Science Day for Summer on Saturday!

Whew!

Group shot with Alfred D'Agostino, Courtney, Brittany T. Kierra, Richie and Hindley
Alfred D’Agostino, Chair of the Chemistry Department at Notre Dame of Maryland with a group of CCB students
Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Hitting the Wave: Summer Students Go Rafting

The front of the raft lifts up high as swirling white water splashes all around
Summer students and staff hit a big wave on Clear Creek Friday.

We’re back! The 2016 Convention of the National Federation of the Blind, which all staff and students in our Independence Training Program and our summer students attended in Orlando from June 30 to July 5. Everyone flew back last Wednesday.

Summer students and staff had just one day to do laundry, get groceries in their apartments and rest a bit. Then on Friday they went white water rafting on Clear Creek near Idaho Springs, about an hour west of Littleton. Here are a couple of photos from the trip …

Summer youth grin ear to ear as they paddle hard through rushing white water
The crew of Shahara’s boat in calmer water … for the moment!