For the first five years of my childhood, my life was typical. I’d run around the house, play outside, and try to stay up late like any other kid.   

But one day in July changed everything.   

It was a Sunday afternoon and I had just got home from buying my equipment for my first football practice, which was supposed to happen the next day. To cool off from the Arizona heat, my mom, sister and I went for a swim in our neighbor’s pool.  

Right before I got out, I decided to go underwater one last time. But when I came up, something was off. I could still see, but everything was cloudy.   

As any other parent would, my mom thought if I washed my eyes out, I’d be fine. But that didn’t work.  

The next day, I had my first of 12 surgeries in each eye and was officially diagnosed with congenital glaucoma. Although being visually impaired is not the future my parents envisioned for me, we adjusted.  

I continued in my public school and had success academically, socially, and athletically. I was so comfortable in the public school system that when the decision on where I was going for high school came up, I was set on attending my local public high school with all my friends.   

Like any other kid, I wanted to stay where I was comfortable  

My parents had something else in mind.   

They wanted me to go to a private school which was about 30 minutes from our house. The only reason my parents could even consider a private school is because of Arizona’s Education Savings Account (ESA) program. With this program, all my tuition, books and extracurricular activities were covered.  

In the beginning there was some time where I felt out of place. I knew I was smart enough to be there, but being there without knowing anyone combined with the lack of diversity initially bothered me a lot. But I’m glad I gave this school a chance.  

I spent four years running track, playing football, earning academic recognition, and meeting friends for life.  

I realize that going there allowed me to develop skills like connecting with people from different backgrounds while at the same time preparing me for college.   

Now, I am pursuing a major in sports journalism. Despite being blind, I’m determined to enjoy life and fight for my goals.   

If you take nothing else away from this, remember the vision may change but the result doesn’t have to.  


Thank you for signing up! An email has been sent to your inbox.

Request a Fellow to Speak at Your Event