From Timid to Bold: Reflections on Newcomers to National Convention

“Attending the convention has changed me in many ways. For the first time in my life, I did not feel self-conscious or different. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am part of a big family that really cares.” - Ayoub Zurikat, 2017

Most of us talk about how our national convention reinvigorates or recharges us. Recently, I’ve been thinking about why that is. For many of us, it involves setting high expectations for others and ourselves. We are surrounded by people who expect us to do more than is sometimes thought possible for low-vision and blind people. While that is part of it, for me, there is another big reason: the impact on newcomers to convention and our National Federation of the Blind family.

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How Love Convinced Gary Wunder to Join the National Federation of the Blind

By: Gary Wunder

From the editor: Gary is the former president of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri and shared this story as part of our #WhyImAFederationist campaign. This story originally appeared on the NFB of MO Facebook page.

One frequent topic of discussion in the National Federation of the Blind is why we joined, when we joined, and those things that pushed us towards and away from the organization. Very often we find ourselves trying to tell one unified story but, like most things in life, the reason for making significant decisions in our lives often is a culmination of events and maybe even an epiphany or two along the way.

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Isabel Espinales Regains Independence through the National Federation of the Blind

From the editor: Isabel is a member of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and shared this story as part of our #WhyImAFederationist campaign. This story originally appeared on the NFB of MD Facebook page.

I was born in Nicaragua. At ten years old, I was forced to leave my country to escape death threats because of my father’s reputation in the military. I came to America, went through school, and then worked as a nurse in hospitals and nursing homes. I was first exposed to blindness by my patients; yet, I only saw the first stages of vision loss and not the aftermath of how they succeeded.

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