Visually impaired woman has vision to counsel others
Reneisha Randal Miller wept openly on Thursday, but her tears were those of joy, as the visually impaired woman was the 2022 recipient of the Jamaica Society for the Blind (JSB) Scholarship.
The final year guidance counselling student at International University of the Caribbean said the scholarship, which is valued at a $100,000, was a dream come true.
"I did not know I was going to get it as I know that there are a lot of persons in need and are also trying their best to make it, so I wasn't sure I was going to be chosen. I am very excited. There was a time when I didn't know where the finances would come from for school so I decided to try scholarships, and now I am in my final year," she said.
Holding on to her husband Kemar for support, Miller said she became part of the JSB after she began losing her vision in 2019. She said the road to transformation has been one of gloom.
"It was awful and hard and it still is. It is not something that you will get used to. You were okay in your eyes and then one day, you are not. I was able to work and take care of myself and then the next day I am a dependent and that is something that I am fighting against. I work as an office administrator but I lost my job when I lost my sight. My eyes started to go south in 2019 as a result of retinal detachment," Miller said.
Retinal detachment is an eye problem that happens when the retina, which is a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye, is pulled away from its normal position at the back of the eye.
"I tried laser surgeries, I tried injections and I did a major surgery in 2021, but it just kept on getting worse. So I am learning to live with the new me," she said.
The former office administrator said she looks forward to entering into a new profession following her university studies. She said she will be using her new profession to positively impact the world.
"I went into fasting and prayer to ask the Lord what I should do because I was all over the place. I realised that whenever any of my friends or family needed counselling, they would come to me. So I realised that it was a part of me. I went ahead and did it because I want to make a great impact on society. A lot of persons are going through immense pain mentally and are unable to get up and go. Even for me, what I have been through was really dark and gloomy. There were no sunshine days at all," she said.