I am currently in Northern California, spreading the message of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). I have a meeting with staff from Lighthouse for the Blind-San Francisco this week, and I am speaking at the California School for the Blind, Cupertino schools, and San Francisco State University. As I make the rounds out here, I am also making time to connect with CareerConnect mentors, AFB contacts, and other impressive people who are blind or visually impaired.
I am always preaching the importance of having mentors who are blind or visually impaired and mentors who are not. I want to take this time to salute the CareerConnect mentors who volunteer to respond to queries, questions, and surveys for our program. I know for a fact that they are making a difference. Their number one complaint is that they are not contacted enough. The CareerConnect mentors provide field-specific knowledge from their own lives. They have lived it and proved themselves in over 300 different career fields.
I still have mentors who guide and advise me on my life and career: My thanks to Darren Burton, Bryan Bashin, Carl Augusto, Jennison Asucion, Erik Weihenmayer, Crista Earl, and many others who continue to impact my life. All of these successful people whom I look to as mentors are important to me whether they know it or not. A few of my mentors I may admire from a distance as they are impressive people who are blind or visually impaired who put themselves out there.
Mentors are not a one-size-fits-all type of thing, as I utilize mentors for different areas of my life. I am in a unique position where I am surrounded by these amazing people who are blind or visually impaired. Please take the time to thank and salute your mentors as we celebrate Disability Mentoring Day.
I know Detra Bannister, AFB’s employment specialist, and I are grateful to the AFB CareerConnect mentors for giving their time, guidance, and information to inspire youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired. People tell me all the time that they look through the jobs our mentors have for their own inspiration and read all of the success stories in the Our Stories section of CareerConnect. So, thank you!
Let us know if mentors have impacted your life in the comment section.