2018 Student of the Year Award Winner: Ali Benmerzouga
My name is Ali Benmerzouga. I am from Cleveland, Ohio. My visual impairment started, I believe, in 1998, where I lost my left eye due to retinal detachment. And I stayed with one eye, which is the right eye for, I would say, 13 years, where I noticed that the sight decreased drastically. So, the beginning was hard because I am kind of a person that is very active. So all of us sudden you will find yourself stagnated in a room, sort of dark. So I tried to explore whatever is there, to regain my independence and regain my usual life.
And from day one, I mean, when I got connected to Hadley Whenever I'll find good ears, I mean good friends who are blind and I find that there are kind of people who listen to good advices, so I tell them about Hadley and their courses and the good job they are doing. The things that I like about Hadley is that they are so flexible and so accessible.
I am an ambassador for Hadley, you know, after all I have gone through and all I have learned from this, made me feel that I'm still good, contributing, working citizen, able to do more in life, and hopefully as well, to help other blind people to succeed in their life as well.