WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 20, 2021)—Sherry Pablo of Richmond, CA, 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, Sherry and her 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 Sherry successfully completed this rigorous program during the height of the coronavirus pandemic only makes her accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

Sherry began the program working as an AmeriCorps VISTA Lead for the California Opioid Safety Network at the Public Health Institute, where she was responsible for managing and supporting a team of up to 40 VISTA members serving throughout the state in county coalitions combating the opioid crisis. She has since decided to pursue a master’s degree in public health and is currently finishing up her first year within the Health Policy and Management department at the University of California Berkeley. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology from UC San Diego and is a certified family planning health worker and pregnancy options counselor.

“These fifteen professionals, including Sherry, 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, Sherry and her 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.