How ‘Eye’ See It: My Journey Since 2017 – Carly Lamb
If you’ve been with Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation for a while, you’ve probably met me before; my name is Carly Lamb and I’m one of the paraprofessionals here at NBCF. I’ve even written a previous How ‘Eye’ See It article about my journey as a participant back in 2017. A lot has changed since then, and I was given the opportunity to share the growth I’ve achieved since then. So much has changed in my life since I wrote that article; looking back has been wild! You never really notice how far you’ve come until you turn around and see how long the road behind you is.
One of the biggest changes since my last article is that, obviously, I’m now a paraprofessional. Moving up from Counselor in Training to working for NBCF was a huge step for me. This is the first job I’d ever had, which makes it even more meaningful for me because of the strong relationships I have with everyone here.
Since my last article, I feel so much closer to not only the staff, but the students as well. Moving into the teacher/ paraprofessional position gave me an opportunity to bond with the students in a whole new way. Words cannot describe how much the students mean to me. I’ve learned so much from them and seeing them grow brings me so much joy.
I had said before that NBCF is like a second home to me; that’s still very true. I’ve realized just how rare it is to find a place that you not only feel like you can be yourself, but also one that changes with you as you grow. I’ll be forever grateful that I have this feeling with NBCF.
Back in 2017, I was so excited to graduate high school and dreamed of becoming a teacher. Now, in 2022, I’m about to graduate college with my teaching degree! It feels so different than graduating high school; I feel so much pride in the work I’ve done to get here. College is extremely hard in general, especially senior year with the workload. Having a visual impairment on top of that didn’t make it easier, but I never let that drag me down or stop me from achieving my goal. There were a lot of times where I felt like it was so much work and effort, that I wondered if there was a possibility that I wouldn’t make it to graduation. But here we are in my senior year, with my walk date 6 months away!
The most challenging thing I’ve had to accomplish is the realization of how much harder I must work because of my impairment. While it may be hard, I also believe it shows just how determined I am to achieve my dreams. A lot of what I struggle with now is in my practicum for teaching.
Obviously, there are things I must consider since it is harder for me to see. For example, I can’t always see what students are doing on the other side of the classroom to make sure they’re on task, so I have to learn how to navigate myself differently than other teachers do. I never see this as a disadvantage though, I see it as a learning opportunity to better myself – the same goes for the students at NBCF.
I have always wanted to be a teacher; I remember distinctly in 1st grade dressing up as one for career day because I loved the idea of it so much. Then, when I became a CIT, that idea became a goal and really opened my eyes to how much I absolutely love working with kids, especially the students at NBCF. Now that I’m a paraprofessional and I’m so close to becoming a real-life teacher, the realization hit me: I did this and I’m almost there! I could not be more grateful to NBCF because they have really driven my passion for teaching and taught me so many skills to help get me where I am today.
I have such high hopes and expectations for our students are NBCF. I feel like more of a role model now than I ever did before. The high school graduation rate for blind and visually imparted students is so low in Nevada – even lower for college students. I want to show them that college and reaching their dreams is possible for anyone as long as you work hard and believe in yourself.
Our students are such smart, kind, hardworking individuals who have so much potential! They already make such an impact on everyone around them without even knowing it. I know these kids can accomplish so much and make such a bright difference in the world.
I always try and push them to never give up and believe in themselves because they can do anything they set their minds to! They continue to inspire me every day and I cannot wait to see the countless things they continue to accomplish.
I’m looking forward to becoming a teacher, even if it’s still so new to me. We never stop learning and I know that for what I teach future students, I’ll continue to learn from them! My dream is so close and being on this journey with the students and staff of NBCF have made all the difference. And to anyone out there who experiences the same thing as me or my students; you’ve got this. You have potential – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If I can achieve my dreams, so can you.
If you’re interested in following along with my and the students journey at NBCF, be on the lookout for our upcoming podcast, Ladybug Listeners, airing November 30. I host discussions with the students about their lives, what we do at NBCF and the ways we navigate the world without 20/20 vision. Subscribe today and get ready for our first episode!