From Space Camp To The Grand Canyon:

MCB Matches Kids With Extraordinary Experiences
Grand Canyon
Part of MCB's work with 14- to 22-year-old students is finding and facilitating experiences that extend their interests and confidence. Far beyond simple field trips, counselors have worked with students and families to attend weeklong radio broadcasting camps, job shadowing with lawyers, and, yes, to Space Camp and hiking the Grand Canyon.


How MCB helps:

Mayanne MacDonald-Briggs, MCB Counselor
“We try to identify what students are really interested in, then match those to experiences we find that allow them to explore and experience it. These are fantastic ways to have students succeed at things they might not otherwise consider available to them because of their blindness.”

Sara Regan, parent of two blind children/MCB Clients
“One experience that my daughter Elena found inspiring was working with a visually impaired lawyer in Worcester. She's a powerhouse lawyer, well known, and Elana would join her at the State House, engaging with the legal community.”

Mayanne MacDonald-Briggs
“I once sent a student who was interested in radio broadcasting up to a media camp in Maine. He was the only visually impaired kid in the camp, and he loved learning and trying things out.”

Elana Regan, MCB Client
“At one point I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist, so MCB arranged for me to attend weather school at the Blue Hills Observatory. It was fun and interesting, but I discovered that reading the instruments would be too difficult, so it wasn't a realistic goal for my future. I got to learn what wouldn't be a practical career path, so it was a great experience.”

Brendan Foley, TVI, South East Collective
“You're always looking to produce a confident, capable student. But confidence won't only happen in the classroom. MCB getting kids out in the community, attending camps, recreation — all of this is hugely important to kids. Getting beyond the realm of teaching and really addressing the students' individual needs.”

Mariesa Mills, TVI, New Bedford Public Schools
“I've got a student this summer attending a camp with other visually impaired students. They're able to talk with other kids their age and share their feelings in a safe place. Even try things like cooking that they might not feel safe trying at home. These are things MCB organizes and pays for, for students who might not otherwise have those experiences.”

Mayanne MacDonald-Briggs
“Some of these experiences are really life changing. I had a student who was losing her vision and wanted to see the Grand Canyon before her sight was gone. MCB arranged a hiking trip with a group of high school and college students — it was the best week of her life. Pushing herself to do something challenging helped her believe she could accomplish things. It just lit up the idea of opportunity for her.”

Sara Regan
“MCB works closely with the Polus Center to help students explore career paths. We talked closely with Elana's counselor to find the right experiences for her. As she attended them, you could see the arc of her learning the transitions to what could come next.”

Lynn Shortis, TVI, Pittsfield Public Schools
“I had a couple students who attended Space Camp in Alabama, funded by MCB. It's a program with other visually impaired students, and they fly rocket simulators. These programs have a lot of meaning for them; they're experiencing something that many other students won't. And above all, it makes them happy — that matters a lot to their progress and growth.”

NOTE: Client experiences vary by eligibility.

Image credits:  Grand Canyon Visitor Center

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