Emma’s Story: The Winner’s Circle
When runner #10706 crossed the finish line at the 2015 ASICS LA Marathon, a 26.2 mile run brought an entire family’s story full circle. Her name is Emma Leitzinger and her t-shirt read Blind Children’s Center, representing the first school she attended. In many regards, Emma was no different from the other 25,000 runners on the course that day. Watching her race past with a long, natural stride, she seemed like a born runner.
Nico, bright and social
After a year of watching their second child develop, Irma Gomez and her husband Sergio noticed something was different in the way young Nicolas studied objects, toys, and other children. “He would lean in closer or put objects closer to his face than you’d expect,” Irma remembered. “At first, we thought it was just Nico’s unique way of learning and interacting, but soon, we realized something was wrong with his vision.”
The future is bright for center alumna
Karen Arcos is a USC graduate and one of our most dedicated volunteers at the Center. She attended Blind Children’s Center from the age of six months through preschool.
Chris’ Story: Ready For Success
Anne and Todd thought something was a little different with Christopher during those early months, but they weren’t sure. “We noticed he startled easily,” Todd said, “and he cried more than Maddie had. But, of course, every child is different.” Over the course of the next two months, Anne and Todd realized Chris wasn’t visually tracking objects properly and they became nervous. They began doing online research and the results were overwhelming.
Gabriel Lopez: In My Own Words
I was a student at the Blind Children’s Center from 1996-2000, and I return to volunteer as frequently as I can. It has always been very clear to me that the Center’s mission is to provide students with the tools they need to take on the world and succeed throughout their lives. For me, and other students who are blind or visually impaired, assistive technology, like the devices pictured on this page, have been so important.
Hernandez Brothers: Healing The Whole Family
Some might say the mission of the Blind Children’s Center is right in the name. But scratch a little deeper and you will find an organization that not only fosters the education of children who are visually impaired, but also meets the needs of their parents, siblings, and extended family.
Jocelyn Riddle: Three’s Company
The first day at a new school is never easy—a new building, new teachers, and lots of new classmates. Now imagine your first day as an eight year-old who is completely blind. Where is the building’s entrance? The classroom? The bathroom? It sounds terrifying.
TyShawn Lewis: It Takes A Village
On April 13, 2008, Tyis Conner went into labor four and a half months into her first pregnancy. Her son, TyShawn Lewis came into the world weighing just one pound five ounces and measuring 12 inches long. “They told us babies born that small have little chance of surviving,” Tyis remembered. Miraculously TyShawn pulled through and defied all the odds.
Ysabella Arboleda: The Girl With The Magical Smile
If you visit the Blind Children’s Center on a typical school day and find yourself walking around the playground during recess, you just might catch a glimpse of her. Some days you’ll find her sitting with her favorite teacher in the big swinging chair, seemingly just taking it all in. Other days you’ll spot her in her walker, making strides, bigger and more easily than she did the week before. She’s Ysabella Arboleda, the little girl with the magical smile.