A New Investment in Lighthouse Guild to Support the Next Generation of Leaders Who Are Visually Impaired
The Blavatnik Family Foundation is proud to announce its new commitment to the next generation of scientists, analysts, and developers through Lighthouse Guild.
In 2021, Lighthouse Guild launched its new mission statement building on more than 200 years of combined service: To provide exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals.
Lighthouse Guild is a leader in addressing vision loss through coordinated vision and health services. They deliver research-driven care and provide a community of support to help those who are visually impaired achieve their goals.
Programs range from low vision exams to mental health support to educational and vocational rehabilitation – all striving for a world in which no person is limited by their visual capacity.
The Blavatnik Family Foundation is supporting Lighthouse Guild in its mission to grow essential youth programs—including the Saturday Youth Transition Program for teens and the Saturday Youth Skills Program for visually impaired youth. The Saturday Youth Transition Program helps ease the shift from high school to college or to work. The Saturday Youth Skills Program provides social and recreational services to legally blind children ages 6 to 13 to help them build self-confidence.
Funding for these two programs will help allow kids and young adults to grow even stronger, providing vital skill-building, social and emotional learning support, and a strong sense of community among the participants.
Judith Katzen, Director of Rehabilitation at Lighthouse Guild, said the programs “introduce the skills needed for independent living and provide opportunity to have fun with friends, all while being guided by a team of creative vision rehabilitation professionals.”
She added that assistive technology classes are “an integral part of both programs where the young people work on introductory skills in keyboarding to learn to become a touch typist.”
In the year ahead, Lighthouse Guild’s youth programs will also participate in engaging field trips and workshops – including a virtual collaboration with the Museum of Metropolitan Art and an adaptive blind baseball training session.
One youth participant said, “What I like the most about the Saturday program is the drama class. The teacher gives us a character or situation and I get up in front of my friends and teachers, without being shy, and act.”
In June, Lighthouse Guild awarded 15 college scholarships of $10,000 each to visually impaired students who will be entering college or graduate school in the Fall, helping to ensure that the next generation of leaders is equipped and empowered to succeed. Since 2005, Lighthouse Guild’s Scholarship Program has awarded over $2.7 million in scholarships to outstanding students from across the country.