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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

STRIVE BYU activity!

Welcome back to the Project STRIVE blog, friends!

Project STRIVE has had many fun activities this year.
Below are just a few photos of an activity at BYU....Just one of the FOUR college visits that will happen this year.

(Above) Kourtnie climbing on a tandem bike. Project STRIVE participants had fun riding tandem bikes with current BYU students around the BYU campus.

Kourtnie, Ashley, Kirt, Carolione, and Kristie learning about the Accessibility Center at BYU.

Current and former BYU students gave Project STRIVE participants a tour of the University Accessibility lab inside the library.

Keep checking the blog for more posts on previous and upcoming activities as well as "Apple a day" challenge updates!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slate & Stylish and other cool blogs

Do you have a blog? Do you follow anyone's blog other than Project STRIVEs? I've recently learned that two of our Project STRIVE friends have their own blogs. How coolomondo is that? Karlee & Ashley are both Seniors in high school and ready to graduate. They will take everything they have learned at home, school, and other opportunities and will soon enter the "real world". Those that attend Club STRIVE might recognize this has being the "T" word or TRANSITION. On their blogs, both Karlee and Ashley's give their unique perspectives and feelings on some of the big decisions they have to make.

Karlee's blog can be found here. One of her latest blog posts talks about goalball which is obviously one of her passions. I love how she is honest about college decisions and how important the ACT test is. Oh, and it's apparent she has caught the Bieber Fever!

Ashley's blog is found here. I love Ashley's "About Me" description. "I am a.. quiet, friendly, (maybe illegally) blind, persistent Latter-Day-Saint student, athlete, wanna-be interior designer, friend, runner, and leader. I strive to be.. positive, spiritual, and outgoing. Let's see how this goes for me." I think Ashley needs to include funny because her posts make me smile. Looks like Ashley got Jimmered.

Now, there are some pretty hip blind adults with their own blogs. One of my all time favorites is "Slate and Stylish" written by Deja Powell. Deja writes, "Slate & Style is a place where blindness will be discussed openly in a classy way but with a sassy sway in an effort to stamp out some misconceptions about blindness and answer questions that many have but may be afraid to ask." One of Deja's recent posts entitled, "Dear Mr. President" posted on March 28, 2011 is a MUST READ. Stop what you are doing. Scan back a few words and click on the link and read. If you have ever doubted for one second that you are not smart enough, good enough, literate enough... read Dr. Bell's letter to President Obama.

Finally, a local favorite is "Crusin' With Cricket: The Journey of Becky & her guide dog". Club STRIVE had the opportunity to spend some time with Becky last November and visit her successful business, Resilient Solutions. Becky is a licensed professional counselor and certified Thanatologist and has 15 employees. She is a positive blind role model and blogs daily. She is remarkable and was recently awarded the "Wasatch Women of the Year". Way to go Becky!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 15 iPad Countdown Challenge

Visit Project STRIVE’s blog ( Under the day 15 challenge entry, share an appropriate joke.

Well you are here!! Can't wait to hear your creative and appropriate jokes!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Forget Justin Beiber, I've got Ipad FEVER! 50 DAYS and counting...

If you haven't heard already, last Saturday Club STRIVE announced the 50 Day Countdown to the Ipad Contest. Today officially marks Day 9 of the 50 challenges available for you to dominate, accomplish, slay! You can find all 50 challenges either on our Facebook page or here on the NFB of Utah website. iPad points will be updated every Monday so you can view who the weekly leaders are. Remember if you complete all 50 challenges, you can earn up to 250 points from now until April 30, 2011

The following is a letter that was sent out via email or given to each member that attended the March Club STRIVE meeting.


Project STRIVE is so proud of the growth, accomplishments, and excitement that the iPad challenge has created.

We have received awesome feedback on some of the challenges that weren’t always easy. Here are a few comments we received:

Orientation & Mobility Challenge
“I used my cane last Monday when I went to my friend’s house. I used the bus system to get there, and it took me 2 hours. One way I found it to be helpful was when I was asking which bus to take to get there, the man told me without hesitation.. In the end, it was a good learning experience, so I'm glad I took my cane with me.”

Active Daily Living Skills
“Today I cleaned my bathroom when I got home from school. It took me approximately 1 hour to complete this task. I had no help with this because it was mine, and mine alone, to clean. I know it doesn't mean much when I say that before I started it "looked" clean, but after cleaning it by feel, I can certainly say it was a completely different story. Ewww. It was not an enjoyable experience and I used my hands to feel before, and after, scrubbing to make sure it was all cleaned and that there were no bumps or clumps left on any of the surfaces of my bathroom. I think the easiest was my counter and the hardest was the toilet.”

Importance of Adult Mentors
“Cherylan's article (Faking it No Longer) was really cool. I feel so lucky that I can say that I am blind or visually impaired and not be afraid of what others think. Even though I don't use my cane every place I go. I still feel confident and comfortable to explain my blindness to people if it is needed. Cherylan's is a great example and I am happy I have got to know her, and hear all her stories that she tells me so I can learn from her mistakes.”

With 50 days left until the competition closes, it is not too late to join the fun! For those that may behind the “top leaders” now is the time to kick it into high gear! For the next 50 days, there will be 1 challenge per day. You can complete the challenge and email Marla on the same day, or keep track and email what you accomplished at the end of each week. Each challenge will be worth a total of 5 points which equals 250 points. This is almost double what our current leaders have! This opportunity makes it anyone’s game.

Remember, participants can continue to earn points for reading and sending in their Braille reading minutes (1 point per day for 30 minutes), checking facebook or text for surprise bonus points, and attending Club STRIVE. Hint, hint: Mega points available at April’s Club STRIVE, “Spring Career Day”! Hint, hint, hint: Top leaders have consistently turned in weekly Braille minutes to earn an extra 5-7 points per week.

STOP!! New daily challenge! Fitness Log. If you exercise (aerobic in nature) at least 30 minutes per day, you can earn one point per day. Your exercise log will look similar to your Braille reading log. It must include the date, type of exercise and minutes and emailed every Sunday with your Braille and challenge. If you have questions on what counts as aerobic exercise, contact Marla directly.

This outline lists each challenge per day. You can complete the challenges in order, or skip ahead. Your choice. The goal is to complete as many as you can in the next 50 days. Be honest and do your best. If you are dishonest for any reason, you will be immediately disqualified. You must also complete the entire challenge to earn the 5 points. Partial points will not be given for completing partial challenges. For example: If the challenge asks that you complete a task and then send a picture you must do both and report by the deadline to get the full points.

It’s encouraged that you send a summary each Sunday along with your Braille & Fitness log. Braille & Fitness logs MUST be sent every Sunday to be awarded points. However, all participants will have until April 30, 2011 to email what challenges they fully complete. Don’t wait until April 29th to cram in 50 challenges.

On Monday, March 14, all points up until this time will be updated for each participant. An email with the total points and challenges earned will be sent. Leader points will also be updated weekly on facebook and Project Strive’s blog.

Good luck and if you have any questions, please contact Marla Palmer by email or calling 801-599-3164

Ipad Incentive Requirements: You must be a paid member ($25) of Club STRIVE and must be present at the NFB State Convention Banquet, May 14th. If you are unable to pay the $25, please contact Marla for creative ways to meet the registration requirement fee.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Summer Employment Opportunity

Title: Project Strive, Junior Blind Mentor for NFB of Utah BELL (Braille Enrichment Literacy & Learning) Program
Dates: June 13-24, 2011 (Monday-Friday)
Location: USDB Salt Lake Campus, 1655 E. 3300 S., Salt Lake City
Time: 8:30 am-3:30 pm

Stipend: $500* for 10 days, plus an opportunity to earn up to $100 in bonus* (Bonus: perfect attendance, program planning & implementation, & high scores on assessments). Possible housing options available for those living in rural Utah.

Purpose: The 2010 Project Strive Youth and Parent survey results showed that 61% were seeking summer employment opportunities, 57% requested employment skills training, and 47% reported they did not know a blind or visually impaired adult or teen who was employed. Junior blind mentors will be supervised and receive daily feedback on their performance. They will also be trained throughout the week by blind mentors on employability and job readiness skills.

*Possess good leadership abilities and responsibility skills
*Demonstrate appropriate behavior at all times
*Demonstrates patience, enthusiasm, self control and dependability
*Has the ability to work with others and follow directions
*Excellent Orientation & Mobility skills, comfortable using a white cane in the community for safety and identification.
*Has good Braille skills. Preference given to those that are proficient in Braille reading and writing.
*Must be available all 10 working days plus 2 days of mandatory training dates.
*Must be between the ages of 14-24

Responsibilities and Duties
Assist the BELL program directors with daily activities which include but are not limited to:

1) Braille reading and writing activities
2) Arts & Crafts
3) Games/Activities
4) Field Trip Supervision & Positive Examples
5) Help with lesson preparations

If you are interested in this employment opportunity, please send a resume with a letter of application that describes additional information on your skills and experience and why you are qualified for this job.

You may email your resume and letter of application via email to Cheralyn Creer at or mail to: 83 Belmont Drive, Farmington Utah 84025

Closing Date: March 31, 2011

Interview Date: April 9, 2011
250 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84054
Interview times will be assigned prior to interview date

Thursday, January 13, 2011

November & December 2010- Where Has The Time Gone?

I was going over my 101 things to do today and the thought crossed my mind, "When was the last time I gave an update on the great things happening with Club Strive?" I clicked the link and was flabbergasted. (Yes, that is a word). OCTOBER? Pathetic. So, here's a November & December's Recap. I am waiting on a few pictures and will follow up with January soon.
For those that need a reminder, Club STRIVE is for blind and visually impaired youth currently in 7-12th grade. Club STRIVE meets the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10am-4pm. Technology, Cooking, Active Daily Living Skills, Social, Teen Talk, Braille, Recreation is lead by hip, blind adult mentors who have, "been there done that". Who can deny how "hip" Kirt is in his winter outfit!
November the theme of Club STRIVE was: "Beliefs About Blindness". Participants started the day by meeting at DSBVI where Adam lead them in an introduction to downloading books from BARD. BARD=Braille & Audio Reading Download. Barbie lead a discussion on important skills to practice before interviewing for a job. Everyone caught the bus at DSBVI, made a transfer in downtown Salt Lake and then headed North toward Bountiful.
After lunch at Arctic Circle, the crew made the short walk to visit Becky Andrews, the owner and therapist at Resilient Solutions, Inc. Becky has been married for 26 years, and has 2 adult children. She shared and answered questions about how her experiences working as a blind adult and what has attributed to her success. You can learn more about Becky by visiting her blog at:

Lise Thornton ended the day, leading a discussion about how Photography. Lise has done extensive research on the success of blind photographers and was interested in leading a photography class with interested students. Lise is currently a graduate student at the University of Utah and her brother Chad is a longtime member of the NFB of Utah.
December's theme was: "Success". The day started with a fun "white elephant" gift to exchange. Some of the members learned that a white elephant exchange, has nothing to do with an elephant. A lot of laughs and a bit of competition for the most coveted gifts. (I leave that up to your imagination)
Adam and Kirt continued instruction on downloading books, and some members received a thumb drive to practice at home. Cooking without Looking results... "White Chili Soup". Onion cutting, de-skinning chicken, can opening, spice & liquid measuring, and of course.. cleaning were all included in ADL instruction given by Barbie & Tara.
During lunch, a panel of successful blind adults came and talked with the students about their personal stories. Macy Lewis spoke about the success she is having as University of Utah student. Karl Smith shared life experiences that have lead him to owning a successful technology business. Kris Cox, director of Workforce Services challenged students to be literate and employable.
After lunch, everyone took a bus downtown, and the day ended with iceskating at the Gallivan Center. The combiniation of using the transit system and iceskating was a great Orientation Mobility experience! The first timers were very successful and our pros offered a helping hand if needed.