The Kentucky School for the Blind’s INSIGHT summer program just finished its 16th year, with 26 students participating in this year’s event.
The INSIGHT Post-Secondary Preparation Program is a program for Kentucky students with visual impairments that gives them a chance to experience college life. The summer program promotes college and career readiness and is open to students who have completed grades 10-12 and are interested in pursuing higher education after graduating high school.
This year’s program ran from June 3-10.
INSIGHT takes place on Morehead State University’s campus each year. Students live in a residence hall, get an ID card and go to college classes for a week. They also participate in recreational activities, eat at the dining hall and hear from graduates of the program.
Students get to choose three classes to take, designed around general education classes that are required by most colleges and universities. All students take an INSIGHT 1 or INSIGHT 2 class depending on their experience in the program, then are put in their other classes based on their interests. This year’s classes were Psychology, Speech 101 and Art Appreciation.
Students are able to participate for up to three years. Third-year INSIGHT students were able to participate in a work-study program in the morning and take classes in the afternoon.
Students who attend the program for two years are awarded a $5,000 scholarship and a laptop.
Connie Hill is the INSIGHT program coordinator at the Kentucky School for the Blind and a low vision therapist and orientation and mobility specialist. She just finished her 20th year at the school. With the program growing each year, her goal is to encourage even more visually impaired Kentucky students to take advantage of the many opportunities for them in higher education and in careers.
“We want them to have an awareness of what’s out there. You don’t have to have vision to see success,” she said. “If you want to go for it, go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back.”