[Nfbnet-members-list] NFB Imagineering Our Future: Special Refresh the 2011 Youth Slam Issue

Miller, Pat Woelfer PMiller at nfb.org
Sun Aug 15 01:16:03 UTC 2010

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Imagineering Our Future

      Refresh the 2011 Youth Slam Issue
August 2010

Special Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Graphic: Pepsi Do Some Good

Less than a minute of your time each day will create limitless 
opportunities for blind youth! Text 101913 to PEPSI (73774), or visit 
to vote for the 2011 NFB Youth Slam in the Pepsi Refresh project 
every day in August. Your votes can help the NFB win a grant of 
$250,000. Below is a personal reflection from Mika Baugh, a 
participant, a mentor, and now a young college student realizing her 
potential for success in the sciences and beyond.

Thank you,
Graphic: Signature of Mark Riccobono

Mark A. Riccobono, Executive Director, NFB Jernigan Institute


Confessions of a Youth Slammer

Blind students can participate actively in science classes along with 
their sighted peers, and blind adults can pursue careers in the same 
science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields as their 
sighted counterparts. We in the NFB have accepted and embraced these 
truths, and are working to ensure that others follow our lead.

Mika (in red mentor T-shirt) walks with mentees
Photo: Mika walks with mentees

I have a confession to make though; I didn't always believe that 
blind people really could participate in STEM fields. I held a strong 
belief that vision (even just a little) was necessary for quality 
experiences in STEM subjects. I was a student participant in the 2007 
Youth Slam, and my experience there shattered that notion! I not only 
observed normal, average blind people excelling in STEM subjects, but 
I experienced a week-long, hands-on demonstration! I have a whole new 
perspective now, and was able to share it by returning to the 2009 
Youth Slam, this time as a mentor. This summer I'm working with the 
NFB through an internship. I don't know everything yet, but thanks to 
the NFB, I do know this: I know I am capable. I know I am valuable. I 
know I have something to offer.

You can help others like me to have a similar revelation, to realize 
the unlimited possibilities that exist for blind youth of my 
generation. Throughout the month of August, the 2011 NFB Youth Slam 
will be eligible to receive votes toward a grant award of $250,000 
from the Pepsi Refresh project. Much like its predecessors, the 2011 
NFB Youth Slam will be a five-day, interactive STEM academy designed 
to empower blind high school students to explore STEM subjects and 
demonstrate that the blind can participate in the same fields as 
their sighted peers. Voters with texting capabilities should text the 
number 101913 to Pepsi (73774) in order to vote for the 2011 NFB 
Youth Slam, once per day, throughout the month of August. For those 
without the ability to text, please visit 
in order to log your vote each day. The two projects that receive the 
most votes in the month of August will receive the award.    For 
detailed instructions on how to vote online, visit 

Tell your friends, family, church, social clubs to vote every day! 
Post it on your Facebook account, Twitter, Blog, and get the word out 
to support equality and opportunity for blind youth!




Thank you for reading the NFB Jernigan Institute's Imagineering Our Future

Photo: Blind student doing STEM work

Support the Jernigan Institute through the 

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Center for Blind Youth in Science

Youth Slam video

2009 Youth Slam blog

2009 Youth Slam Web page

Youth Slam streaming audio

2007 Youth Slam video

Youth Slam news blog

Youth Slam Web page

Youth Slam news Web page

Photo: Blind girl examining model of constellations

Blind Teens Carry the 2007 Youth March for Independence Banner

Imagine a Future Full of Opportunity


Jernigan Institute, National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314      Fax (410) 659-5129      E-mail 
<mailto:JerniganInstitute at nfb.org?subject=Reply%20to%20Imagineering%20Our%20Future>JerniganInstitute at nfb.org
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