WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2021)—Greg Aikens of Stone Mountain, GA, graduated from the Blind Leaders Development Program at the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) virtual commencement ceremony on April 20, 2021.

Launched in 2020, the Blind Leaders Development Program was created by AFB to increase upward mobility and create meaningful leadership experiences for individuals who are blind or low vision, who are already employed and in the beginning stages of their careers.

While in the program, Greg and his fellow graduates received extensive training in leadership, networking, communication, and other key skills for advancing in their careers and improving their effectiveness as they achieve higher levels of authority and influence. Other facets of the program included following the Leadership Challenge curriculum, attending a series of webinars, and being paired with a successful blind or low vision mentor who could provide honest advice and feedback about what it takes to succeed in the workforce. That Greg successfully completed this rigorous program during the height of the coronavirus pandemic only makes his accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

Greg is a professional educator, leader, and advocate in the field of blindness with teaching experience in both K-12 and adult rehabilitation settings. He currently leads Children and Youth Services at the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI) in Atlanta, where he helps children from birth to age 21 and their families gain the skills they need to be successful in school and after. Prior to joining CVI, he worked as a teacher of the visually impaired in Cobb County School District and maintains an active teaching license with the state of Georgia. Greg received his professional training from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, where he earned an M.Ed. in Visual Disabilities. He also holds an M.Div. with a focus on Intercultural Studies from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and a B.S. in Computer Science from Wake Forest University.

“These fifteen professionals, including Greg, have honed their knowledge and skills to take on greater authority and responsibilities in their professional fields,” said Kirk Adams, Ph.D., AFB president and CEO. “Thanks to their hard work and the work of their mentors, for whom we are all grateful, Greg and his fellow graduates now have the imperative to create and sustain a more inclusive workforce. Their accomplishments augur well for both their own careers and the world at large.”

For more information, visit AFB.org/BLDP.