The National Federation of the Blind of Texas Youth Programs.
Purpose: To help blind youth, and young adults develop the blindness skills and positive attitudes necessary to lead a life of success and accomplishment.
Changing Attitudes Regarding Education, Employment & Rehabilitation (CAREER) Mentoring Program
Thanks to our work with the Texas Workforce Commission Vocational Rehabilitation Services, blind Texans, ages 16-22 have an awesome opportunity to build relationships with blind adults who can challenge and support them as they strive to become successful and independent. Organized team-building and community-based activities will provide valuable experiences. Each program participant will be carefully matched with a mentor who can help them reach their goals. These relationships and opportunities will ensure that these young people don't become a part of the 70 percent of blind people who are unemployed or underemployed.
Employment and education for the blind can be achieved. The CAREER Mentoring Program provides its participants with opportunities to learn nonvisual skills, to participate in conferences designed to provide the latest information about career exploration, employment, access technology and more. Participants are paired with a blind adult who has had success and who will challenge them to take on tasks they aren't sure they can master. However, thanks to the support of their mentor, most participants find they can live the life they want.
Each program participant is invited to attend four large group activities a year. In months without a large group activity, pairs are expected to work together to reach goals they establish after being matched. Each member of the mentoring team is expected to sign a contract that commits them to the program for two years. Pairs are expected to attend at least three of the four scheduled group activities each year, and they are expected to maintain contact with one another every month.
Pairs should plan regular activities with one another, and they may also work with other program pairs to arrange small group activities.
There is no cost to participate in this program, and all costs related to CAREER Mentoring Program activities is covered by our organization.
Who should apply to be a mentor?
Blind and low vision Texans who are willing to support and challenge young people to reach their educational and employment goals should apply. Our program often challenges both our mentors and mentees. So you should be willing to challenge yourself and your own attitudes about blindness. We are looking for people who believe in the potential of other blind people, and we need people who have attained some success in an academic or work environment. You don't have to be the perfect blind person, but you should recognize your own strengths and weaknesses in order to help us match you with a young person who can use your strengths to get where they want to go. This is work, but it is rewarding too. Most of all, we want applicants who want to have fun while teaching serious lessons.
Who should apply as a program participant (mentee)?Blind t
In order to qualify for this program, you must be between the ages of 16 and 22. You must also be a high school, college, or technical school student or someone who is looking for employment. You must be willing to make a two-year commitment to the program and be prepared to develop a set of goals designed to improve your chances of a positive employment outcome. Participants are expected to attend at least three large group activities during each year of their program, and they are also expected to spend time with mentors as planned and agreed. Success comes when you are challenged, and if you participate in this program, we will challenge you to become the best you possible. It requires work, but it is also fun.
Are minors allowed to participate in the program?
Yes. We accept minors as program participants. We will keep parents or guardians in the loop regarding their child's participation in the program. Mentors will want to schedule time with you so that you can get to know them, but they will encourage you to begin allowing them and your child to do activities on their own. This leads to more independence and allows the mentor to get to know your child better so they can help to work on the goals your child will set as a part of CAREER Mentoring. Your child will be asked to attend at least three large group activities each year. There are more large groups scheduled, and they are invited to attend them all, but attendance at three is a minimum requirement. They should also have as much face-to-face contact with their mentor as possible. Sometimes mentors live in different cities than their mentees, and funds are available for the pair to plan for travel to visit one another for their own planned activities.
How can I apply to be a mentor?
How can I apply to participate as a mentee?
If you are not yet 18 years old, you should apply here.
If you are ages 18-22, apply here.
Where can I get additional information about the program?
You can get additional information about this program by calling 281-968-7733 on weekdays, from 9 AM to 5 PM.
National Federation of the Blind of Texas
1600 E Highway 6, Suite 215
Alvin, TX 77511
(281) 968-7733 * (281) 809-4860 (Fax)