Young Adults Learn the Ropes of Leadership

Employers are looking first and foremost for employees who communicate effectively and have the ability to work well as part of a team. But these skills are not typically taught in traditional school settings, especially to blind and low vision youth. In our efforts to address this need, LightHouse has just completed the first of three workshops aimed at getting blind youth up-to-speed in these areas. We launched the Future Leaders Training Program (formerly known as Transition Summit) last month in the beautiful setting of Enchanted Hills Camp. There, young adults ages 17 through 25 spent a fun-filled yet intensive three-days learning about team-building, clear communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership, strategic planning, networking, time-management and more.

Whether enjoying a fierce yet friendly four-way tug-of-wits; coaching and encouraging teammates through a rigorous and challenging nighttime ropes course; or tensely negotiating which essential survival items should be kept or left behind before embarking on a strenuous mock survival hike; the young people were introduced to some of the most important concepts and strategies related to effective communication and teamwork. Exploring these vital concepts through active engagement and role play, they were able to demonstrate their understanding of these principles during various skill-building exercises.
LightHouse staffer Brandon Young with 24-year old Micah Aveno and 19-year old Priscilla Jimenez celebrate victory after a rousing round of tug-of-wits
LightHouse Director of Community Services John Liang said, “We saw a considerable transformation in how much more expressive these young people became because of the team building and trust that developed between the participants.”

24 year-old Micah Aveno, usually soft-spoken and shy, summed the weekend up best. “…Thank you for this amazing opportunity – it was a great experience. I learned so much and had a lot of fun. I look forward to attending future sessions.”

The next two sessions of this fun and growing experience will cover subjects such as professionalism and leadership. They are planned for later this year and will be open to previous participants as well as other blind and visually impaired transition-aged youth who are enrolled with the Department of Rehabilitation. For more information contact John Liang at or 415-694-7334.