Helping visually impaired young people "see" their way to a productive future is one of the goals of Successful Transitions.
Sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind's branch in South Carolina, the program's mission is "to empower, educate and encourage visually impaired students, ages 13 through 21, by giving them the proper knowledge and education needed to succeed in the workforce, in college and in everyday life."
Among the activities carried out by Successful Transitions is a summer teen program. About 25 participants take part in activities for six weeks which include self-advocacy, college mentoring and paid internships.
Program consultant Malaya Reece caught the attention of the Lexington County Blowfish. Utilizing a walking cane and the Blowfish App, she was spotted by co-owner Bill Shanahan after the July 4 home game.
Following a conversation about the program, an invitation was sent to the Summer Teen participants for Wednesday's West Division showdown against the Savannah Bananas. Arriving by van, the students sat in the bleachers behind home plate and cheered on the Blowfish.
"He was very accommodating," program director Jennifer Bazer said. "He wanted us, even though these students are blind, to have the same experience as any sighted person would have."
Among the program participants who took the opportunity to watch baseball were Ashley Lockerman and Ramsey Parker. Both praised Successful Transitions for helping them learn valuable skills to live on their own.
"This is fun for me because I used to attend my brother's (games)," said Lockerman, who's classified as partially blind.
"I've only been to one baseball game before, it's a lot of fun," said Parker.
Along with attending another Blowfish game, Malaya was back to talk more about Successful Transitions. For more information, visit successforlives.org, nfbofsc.org/ or contact Bazer at (803) 960-9977.