NFB Project STRIVE is dedicated in providing quality programs to help meet the unique needs of blind and visually impaired youth throughout Utah. Project STRIVE instructors are positive, educated, blind adults who are fully dedicated to model, mentor, encourage and teach life, education, and employment readiness skills. These skills, along with a positive attitude towards blindness is absolutely critical for blind and visually impaired youth to transition successfully as adults.

Friday, September 24, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Blind Youth Provide Service to those in Need at Road Home Shelter

Too often disability groups are portrayed as needing handouts. The National Federation of the Blind of Utah (NFBU), specifically Project STRIVE, is holding a service project to show that the blind “GIVE BACK”. On Saturday, October 9, 2010, Project STRIVE is offering donated blankets and providing dinner at the Road Home Shelter (210 S. Rio Grande Street SLC).

Project STRIVE stands for “Successful Transition Requires Independence, Vocation and Education.” The NFBU holds “Giving Back” as an essential element of success in their mentoring and youth programs. Ron Gardner, President of NFBU says, “It is vital that blind youth and young adults demonstrate the value of giving back. They do this by being an active and contributing member of the organized blind movement, and also in his or her local community.”

Leading up to the event, NFBU and Project STRIVE members are collecting new and gently used blankets that will be donated. Donations can be dropped off to Everette Bacon, at the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI), 250 N. 1950 W. SLC.

Early in the day of October 9th, NFBU Club STRIVE 13-18 year olds will prepare dessert for the evening’s meal. They will also tie blankets to donate. That evening, NFBU STRIVE Forward members (18-26 year olds) will meet at DSBVI. At 5:30 PM the caravan will head to the Road Home Shelter where they will serve dinner to individuals and families.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Club STRIVE Volunteer Day- UPBC Family Farm Fun

This past Saturday some our our amazing Club STRIVE members spent their afternoon volunteering at the Utah Parents of Blind Children Family Farm Day! Club Strive members arrived early and helped prepare individual buckets for each children which included their name in Large Print & Braille. The buckets were used to collect surprises and awards along the way.

Photo Description: Austin recently broke both his wrists long boarding. Didn't stop him from showing up and participating. Here he is taping a name on one of the children's buckets.

Each Club STRIVE member lead a fun activity that children and their parents rotated through. These activities included: Cow Patty Throw, Money Find in Saw Dust, Cow Feeding, O&M Scavengar Hunt, and Unlimited Pony Rides.

Photo Description: Caroline lead all the pony rides with a smile on her face!

Club STRIVE members that participated had a great time taking a leadership role, mentoring younger blind children, receiving valuable volunteer experience, and bonus.. each earned 5 iPad points!

Photo Description: Austin & Megan mentoring future Club STRIVE members Adam & Kortnee.

Thank you to Denise Colton, UPBC President & Bill Gibson, Director of the Utah Division of Services for Blind & Visually Impaired for inviting Project STRIVE mentors to help with this fun day!

Photo Description: A picture of Katie & Kristie Colton near the Gibson's white fence

Next Volunteer Opportunities: October 9th: Club STRIVE Cooking Without Looking: Cookies for the Road Home Shelter; UPBC Family Lagoon Day/Braille Book Exchange

Monday, September 13, 2010

iPad Challenge

Project STRIVE is excited to announce the Club STRIVE iPad Challenge. Club STRIVE members will have the chance to “earn” points through attending Club STRIVE programs, and completing and recording daily & weekly challenges. A drawing for a 16 gb iPad plus technology training by Adam Rushforth, will be held at the NFB of Utah’s State Convention in Spring 2011 (TBD). A Club STRIVE’s member’s name will be entered into the drawing one time for every point they earn during the challenge timeframe (September 11, 2010 and end in Spring 2011. For example: if a member earns 125 points, their name will be entered in 125 times. It only takes one point to win, but the more points a member earns, the higher chances of winning.


5 points each for every Club STRIVE pin earned.

Club STRIVE pins will be awarded at each Club STRIVE activity. Pins are given to members for their attendance & active participation. They are also given as recognition when members show strong leadership, positive attitude, advocacy, problem solving, and social skills.

1 point for every 30 minutes of Braille reading each day.

Statistics show that 70% of blind or visually impaired are unemployed. Of the 30% that are employed, 90% know Braille. No matter what level of Braille reader you are, 30 minutes, every day will be a guarantee way to improve this skill. Conditions: Minutes must be leisure reading outside of school instruction or classroom work. Reading more than 30 minutes a day is encouraged, however with this challenge, 1 point per day is the maximum you can earn. Your name, date, description of what you read, pages, and daily minutes must be emailed to in order to earn your points. In the subject line write: Braille Minutes. Must receive emails no later than Saturday at 11:00 p.m. each week! Easy way to earn up to 30 points per month. Please do not cheat, we will have random checks.

Bonus points- Weekly & Monthly Challenges

Club STRIVE instructors will give individual challenges to Club STRIVE members to work on throughout the month until the next monthly program. These challenges will focus on improving technology, active daily living skills, social skills, independent cane travel, advocacy, recruiting friends, and job/college preparation skills. Points will be determined based on the difficulty of the challenge. These challenges will be communicated at the Monthly Club STRIVE meetings, posted on the blog & Project STRIVE Facebook page.

Smaller bonus online & email weekly challenges will also be posted on Project Strive’s blog ( , Facebook page (search Project STRIVE), AND individual email accounts. These online/email challenges will have a 24 hour deadline to encourage youth to check their individual email accounts or browse the web on a daily basis. Parents, please encourage your teenager to make sure their emails are correct and up to date in the Project STRIVE data base.

Project STRIVE will email a monthly reminder of how many points each member has earned. If a member disagrees with the total point amount, they must contact Marla Palmer at 801-599-3164 or within 48 hours of the monthly reminder.

Those members that are unable to attend the monthly Club STRIVE activities due to distance or schedule conflicts, are welcome and encouraged to participate in the monthly and weekly assignments or challenges!

Why an iPad?

Computers and other technology for the blind can be an effective tool to meet individual, education and employment needs. Apple has many products on the market that are accessible for the blind and visually impaired.

The iPad includes an amazing screen reader (VoiceOver) and other innovative accessibility features for individuals to access built in applications such as Mail, iTunes, Calendar, Notes and the App Store. You can surf the web, email your friends, manage your calendar, download new apps, read books, manage or budget your money and more.

The iPad also includes “Zoom” which allows you to zoom in and out specific elements or magnify the entire screen up to 500 percent. If you prefer a higher contrast, you can also change the display on your iPad to white on black.

*iPad Challenge Conditions*

Must be Club Strive Member (application & registration fee paid) before iPad points become valid. If you have graduated from high school, and received permission to attend Club STRIVE you are eligible for this contest.

Must have your own email account. This will encourage youth to become proficient in checking, receiving, and sending emails on a regular basis.

Must be present at the drawing to win. *Unusual circumstances, death, or illness will be reviewed and considered on a case by case basis.*

What is Club STRIVE?

Club Strive is a program developed for blind and visually impaired youth who are currently in 7th-12 grade. Club STRIVE will meet one Saturday a month beginning August 2010 and continue through June 2011. The program will provide practical experiences, information, and life skills training through activities, mentoring and interaction with peers. Training will be instructed by competent blind adult mentors who will focus on areas such as: technology, braille literacy, orientation & mobility, job readiness, active daily living, and social skills. The goal of this program is to create a positive and fun learning environment where youth feel comfortable about their blindness, gain confidence, leadership qualities, and learn necessary techniques and skills to transition successfully into adulthood.

Marla Palmer
Project STRIVE, Program Director or 801-599-3164