WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2021)—Henry Allen of St. Ann, MO, 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, Henry 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 Henry successfully completed this rigorous program during the height of the coronavirus pandemic only makes his accomplishment all the more noteworthy.
Henry is the Customer Service Manager at St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind, where he has worked since 2016. In 2017, he was a nominee for the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) Employee of the Year Award. He and his department represent the voice of the company by fielding all of the incoming calls and handing all things related to customer care and satisfaction. He is also the Minister of Music at his church and works with various other youth groups teaching music. Henry holds a director's certification in daycare management/childcare from St. Louis Forest Park Community College and a certificate in management from the George Mason University School of Business.
“These fifteen professionals, including Henry, 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, Henry 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.