Shelly has a Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University and is currently working to renew her licenses as a clinical social worker for both Illinois and Missouri. In 2013, Shelly was diagnosed with Severe Central Respiratory Disorder and told she would have to stay on oxygen 24/7, for the rest of her life. Four years later, Shelly is no longer on oxygen is and back to full health. She seeks to return to her career in social service administration.
Andrew has a degree in General Studies from Fontbonne University. In the past, Andrew has served as a camp counselor where he used his personal experiences with epilepsy to motivate kids sharing his diagnosis. Andrew would like to continue working with kids with disabilities. He is also interested in expanding his experience in sales.
Hayden is a sophomore at Saint Louis University. He originally intended to study engineering until the progression of his muscular dystrophy made fine hand work impossible. Forced to pick a new major, Hayden gambled on a computer science degree. He has found that he loves programming and plans on pursuing it as his career after he graduates in 2019.
Aundra’s work experience includes 8 years as a phlebotomist and lab-tech where he earned a reputation with difficult cases by being able to find veins through touch that others couldn’t through eyesight. Aundra also has 10+ years in management and supervision and is a former chef. Aundra took a break from work in 2009 to focus on perfecting the blind skills he would need as his keratoconus and glaucoma progressed. Now that he feels more confident, Aundra is eager for a job in customer service.
In addition to her B.S. in Speech Communications from Edwardsville University, Tiffany was also the National Miss Amazing Miss Queen 2013. Starting at age 15, Tiffany has been a constant disability advocate and community volunteer. She delivers her own informational lecture series where she shares her personal experience as a person living with cerebral palsy. Tiffany plans on turning her passion in disability advocacy into a full-time career.
Jenny graduated from Webster University with a B.A. in Business Administration, Marketing emphasis. In addition to her experience in administration and team coordination, Jenny is also a former job coach and religion teacher. Being a mother and living with MS hasn’t slowed Jenny down, and now she’s seeking her dream job in sales or training support.
Shawn’s eyesight became severely diminished due to uveitis, but she adapted to her new challenges and went on to earn her PhD in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Cincinnati. Shawn developed her own unique ways of performing every laboratory duty asked of her. Now she aims to bring that same innovative thinking to a position in research design and implementation.
Aylin has a B.A. in Business Administration from the Universidad Metropolitana of Puerto Rico. Aylin worked as a financial analyst until 2009 when she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. The tumor was successfully removed but not without permanently damaging Aylin’s hearing. Despite the setbacks, Aylin was determined and now works full-time as a case worker with the GEO Group.
From 2004 to 2009, Bryan volunteered to help raise over $100,000 for the March of Dimes. He has also taken the initiative to launch his own fundraising efforts including raising $1,000 in less than a month for the National Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Bryan’s own experiences living with CP motivates him to help others. Bryan will graduate from Webster University with a Masters in Human Resources this year.
Kathy earned her B.A. in Interpersonal Communications from Truman State University and worked in administration and marketing until 2003 when she decided to take on the challenging career of raising her two children. Kathy lives with Usher’s syndrome, a progressive condition that impacts both hearing and vision. Living with Usher’s requires constant adaptation, but Kathy is committed to returning to her career and now seeks positions in inside sales and customer service.
Charles is a graduate of both the Summer 2016 Capstone Boot Camp and the Spring 2017 Capstone Course. Charles earned his B.A. in History from Illinois State University and worked for 7 years as an independent living advocate where he used his own experience as a person with legal blindness to motivate and educate other adults with disabilities. Charles is now seeking to transition his career into customer service.
Tom graduated in 2016 from Westminster College with degrees in Biology and Computer Science. Tom adapts every day to the challenges of living with ASD (formerly Asperger’s syndrome). He is a highly intelligent, passionate and personable young man who loves working in the lab, especially in plant science, and hopes to one day work for Monsanto.
Erika earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is also a licensed massage therapist. Currently Erika would like to use her knowledge as a person with low vision and her legal background in positions in compliance and advocacy or at the university level. Erika is also interested in working with service animals such as her guide dog Chandra.
Josh earned his B.A. in Communications and Journalism from Truman State University. He is also a first degree black-belt in Judo. Josh worked for 4 years as a copy writer for a large realtor firm before deciding to break out on his own as a freelancer. He took the Capstone Course to learn how to better market himself and build his professional brand as a writer living with low vision.