High school senior who is blind graduates as valedictorian, receives scholarship to university
TOLEDO, Ohio -- This is the motivational and inspiring news you needed: Jalen Ballard, who is legally blind, graduated as valedictorian at St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo, Ohio, and now, he’s going to college on a scholarship.
Ballard was born with Bilateral Microphthalmia and had cataracts removed from his eyes when he was just 3 months old. He continued to deal with glaucoma for most of his life, according to WNWO.
The college-bound graduate was able to see shapes and colors when he started his high school journey, but a major bleed in his right eye compromised his vision so much so that he can only see light and dark.
Ballard did not let the obstacle stop him, however. He gave the commencement speech at his high school graduation ceremony and graduated with a 4.638 grade point average.
On top on that, he was accepted to the University of Michigan, where he plans to major in computer science through the school’s College of Engineering.
Not only will he be attending college, Ballard received the prestigious Lighthouse Guild Scholarship which is presented to an outstanding student who is legally blind.
"Students like Jalen and others, give us that daily, gentle reminder to think of others first," said Father Geoff Rose, president of St. Francis.