By Liz Oleksa
I wanted to share some exciting news with everyone in addition to giving thanks for all of you. When I lost my sight almost seven years ago, I was convinced that my life was over. I ended up meeting and working with Debbie Rozear, who really helped me to regain a new perspective on what my life was going to be as a blind person. Debbie introduced me to an amazing group of people, who I now call my family. They were the Lehigh Valley Council of the Blind.
Through LVCB, I grew and became a member of PCB, meeting more incredible people, of whom I also see as my family. You have all encouraged me to follow my heart and dreams and supported me through my decision of returning to college to pursue a degree in Psychology. I started at Cedar Crest College in January 2017, as a part-time adult student. I have greatly enjoyed my educational journey thus far and hope to graduate in May 2021.
This all being said, I take a lot of pride in how hard I work to accomplish my goals, but again, I could not have gotten this far without the support of my family at PCB and LVCB. I am super proud to announce that in 2018, I was chosen as the local level’s first-place scholarship recipient for Soroptimist International, and second-place scholarship recipient for North-Atlantic Soroptimist International, for a total of $4,500 in scholarship funding. I was then notified that I was selected as the local first-place scholarship recipient from Executive Woman’s International. To top it off, I was then selected as the first-place multi-national Corporate Executive Woman’s International scholarship winner, selected from all the US and Canadian applicants. This award totaled $9,000. It is such an honor to receive such recognition for my accomplishments.
I cannot thank you all enough for your guidance, support, and encouragement. I sincerely appreciate all your technology assistance and tips for remembering info without the use of my sight. I am so very grateful for the opportunities that my blindness has provided in my life, and for my family who has been a beacon of light in my darkest moments. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Please enjoy this very special poem I’ve written.
By Liz Oleksa
When your heart is so full,
yet it still aches.
So thankful for those who are in my life,
who have come into my life and gone,
and for who are still yet to come.
For a season,
for a reason,
through blood or by fate,
for I’ll always love you when you’re with me or away,
and I’ll always miss you from day to day.
For when you are close,
feeling so far yet so near.
I hold you in my heart,
in a place so dear.
I’m grateful for the time we had, have,or is times yet to come.
A part of you stays with me,
breaks through like the sun.
On a cloudy day,
when the world seems so dark,
Your love lights a spark.
A Spark deep within me, keeping me safe from harm.
Your love embraces me, holding me close in your arms.
A whisper of support,
no matter how tough the time.
Your light shines within me.
I know it will all be fine.
A memory, a moment, a Polaroid stuck through time.
I am thankful for you being a part of mine.
A part of my life, that will never fade away.
Part of my heart forever to stay.