Meet Anthony: Dream BIG! Making a More Sustainable Environment in Urban Settings
Anthony posing in his garden.

Dear Friends,

Some of the herbs and vegetables that Anthony has been growing in his garden. Today, April 22nd is Earth Day- an annual event to celebrate and demonstrate support for environmental protection!

Meet one of our clients, who is working towards starting his own business designed to create a sustainable environment in urban settings.

Anthony R. is 58 years old and lives with Glaucoma, which severely impairs his vision. He shared with us that before coming to Lighthouse Central Florida, he was barely getting by and had lost several jobs due to his visual condition.

He learned about Lighthouse through the Department of Labor in Central Florida. In February of 2019, he started receiving Independent Living Skills training at Lighthouse. “I met wonderful staff like Chris and Sharon. I really enjoyed the courses since they were very interactive and very hands on, ”- says Anthony.

Anthony works with his Assistive Technology (AT)  instructor, Maurine Park, during an AT training.“My life has truly turned around. Towards the end of 2020, I moved into my own apartment. I can say I am a testament of the Lighthouse mission. I have become completely independent.”

When the pandemic started and everything was shut down, Anthony had more time on his hands and wanted to create a garden at home. He had no previous knowledge of gardening and worked with his Lighthouse instructor, Chris. “Chris inspired me and encouraged me to create the most amazing home garden. The tools that Chris provided changed and transformed my life,” says Anthony.

Another factor that helped Anthony overcome his situation was believing in his abilities. “I have learned that my current situation does not dictate who I am.”

Garden with fruits and vegetables that Anthony grows as part of his business project.This year, Anthony has taken his new found interest to another level. He is starting a business project where he plans to offer backyard restoration, focusing on providing vegetable and hanging fruit plants to enhance customers' gardens, while creating a more sustainable environment. This venture pushed him to return to Lighthouse for additional Assistive Technology training in order to improve his tech skills.

He is thankful to Lighthouse for the opportunity to meet people who are living with vision loss, like him. He has established relationships and created new friends to share the journey with him. He has been given the tools to be independent and the encouragement to be an entrepreneur.

Anthony says, “Lighthouse has truly transformed my life in the most positive manner. I am not only a donor, I am a Lighthouse client. Lighthouse Central Florida has changed my life, my perspectives, and my goals. They have given me a sense of purpose and direction for daily living.”

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Thank YOU!

A headshot of Kyle Johnson 
Kyle Johnson
President & CEO
Lighthouse Central Florida