Life Lessons: Helping kids see
A young woman practically blind from birth is doing things that amaze and inspire those around her, especially the younger ones. She's helping other kids see what they can achieve.
The braille club at Forest Lakes Elementary School in Florida meets every few months.
The visually impaired children delve into dots of dialogue, but the highlight of their day? Michelle Yongue. She's their braille mentor and she's legally blind.
"Given her challenges, she overcomes them," says Susan Yongue, Michelle's sister.
The 15-year-old honors student was born with rod-cone dystrophy. Her vision was never perfect and it gets worse and worse every year. She only sees shades of color and can't decipher details, so she relies on her imagination and visual memory.
"I've done all these things and it kind of shows that you can do anything if you kind of put your mind to it," says Michelle Yongue, a visually impaired student and mentor at Forest Lakes Elementary School.
When Michelle was in elementary school, she says she didn't want to learn braille or use her cane. Now she wants to be a doctor.
Michelle says, "I had to realize that if I wanted to be independent I had to do these things and really go out there and try it."
Forest Lakes Elementary School teacher Andrea Wallace says the vision students need each other to stay focused. Michelle is their inspiration.
"It's really important they have mentors and older students that they can look up to," says Wallace.
"I can function the same way as a perfectly sighted kid can do," concludes Michelle.
Michelle says she has an iPad, iPhone, and computer. They have screen readers which read everything on the screen, but pictures can still be a challenge.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Amber Alert cancelled for child abducted from Cumru home
Police: Man tries to snatch baby from stroller; mom fights back
Police: Suspected drunk driver goes on hit-and-run rampage
Hiker falls to death at Glen Onoko Falls
Freshman to school board: Start school later so kids get more sleep
Ron Angle: Tons and tons of sludge are coming
Colder temps could bring bit of snow; freeze warning issued
3 restaurant chains plan their first locations in Berks
One juvenile and two adults arrested for Sunday shooting in Allentown
Another death in Topton possibly caused by heroin overdose