The Learn, Earn, and Prosper (LEAP Program) provides blind and visually impaired youth the opportunity to gain the skills needed to become independent, confident, and productive with the outcome of increased employability. Funded by the state of Vermont’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, LEAP accomplishes its mission through a variety of in-person and virtual programming, including our seasonal weekend retreats.
For our first overnight retreat since the beginning of the pandemic, LEAP reached out to Rock Point early in the year to begin coordinating housing arrangements. From our first phone call to Paul, it was evident that he and his team would go above and beyond in order to provide the necessary accommodations for our staff and students. Paul was patient, thoughtful, and flexible as plans and numbers changed, and the LEAP Team was appreciative of his insight, guidance, and commitment to hosting an excellent weekend.
LEAP partnered with cyber.org to host a variety of robotics workshops, where our students would use their assistive technology to code and program a robot. More important than the content of these workshops was the opportunity for connection and networking. Blindness is a low incidence disability – if not for LEAP, some of our students might go their whole lives without meeting another person who is visually impaired. The opportunity to meet and connect with a peer who is their age and has their same disability means everything to our students, and it means everything to LEAP to be able to foster these connections.
Rock Point provided a location for these connections to take place, and made it easy for us to enjoy our weekend. To know that everyone had a place to sleep, the dining room for our workshops, the kitchen for our meals, and access to all of the natural beauty Rock Point has to offer allowed our staff to facilitate connections, smiles, and laughs with our students.