LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Angie Kimball, of Arcanum, graduated from the Blind Leaders Development Program at the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) special commencement ceremony on Aug. 2, in Louisville.
Launched in 2020, the Blind Leaders Development Program was created by AFB to increase upward mobility and create meaningful leadership experiences for individuals who are blind or low vision, who are already employed and in the early stages of their careers.
While in the program, Kimball and her fellow graduates received extensive training in leadership, networking, communication, and other key skills for advancing in their careers and improving their effectiveness as they achieve higher levels of authority and influence. Other facets of the program included following the Leadership Challenge curriculum, attending a series of webinars, and being paired with a successful blind or low vision mentor who provided honest advice and feedback about what it takes to succeed in the workforce. Ms. Kimball was among 18 graduates of the Centennial Cohort, named as such in light of AFB celebrating 100 years advocating on behalf of those who are blind or have low vision throughout 2021.
Kimball is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and recently started her new business, Trials to Triumph, LLC, which will serve the mental health needs of those newly adjusting to blindness or low vision. She also currently works for Samaritan Behavioral Health, a community mental health agency. She plans to use her experience from the program to help others through her clinical work and empower others to grow through her role as an employer. Ms. Kimball has a passion for helping others and a desire to break the stigma of both physical and mental health disabilities. She recently completed two master’s degrees from the University of the Cumberlands.
“These 18 professionals, including Angie, have honed their knowledge and skills to take on greater authority and responsibility in their professional fields,” said Neva Fairchild, who oversees the program. “Due to their intensive learning and practice, as well as the work of their mentors, for whom we are all grateful, Angie and her fellow graduates now have the imperative to create and sustain a more inclusive workforce.”
Since its inception in 2020, the program has seen a steady rise in applicants. The recently-launched third cohort is the largest class to date. For more information, visit AFB.org/BlindLeaders.