Kristin Barnes

Little Rock, AK

Winner of Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Awards (SAA) for Students who are Blind/Visually Impaired

Kristin Barnes

Kristin Barnes is visually impaired and was diagnosed when she was eight years old. Her central vision has deteriorated over time leaving her with limited peripheral vision. She started using Learning Ally in high school and at age 23 is still using the program in her first year of graduate school. Kristin earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from North Greenville University in South Carolina and now in her first year of graduate school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is in the Master of Social Work program and hopes to graduate in the spring of 2018 with this degree.

"I want to be a social worker to provide services and resources to those who are more vulnerable. Social workers help individuals become more independent and improve their well-being. Another goal is to advocate for social justice. I specifically want to work with individuals affected by disabilities and special needs. As a person with a visual impairment, I aspire to help and encourage those who face similar challenges.

"I would eventually love to work in a nonprofit organization where I could build programs and coordinate events that would provide services and resources for individuals with disabilities. Learning Ally has demonstrated how a nonprofit organization can impact the lives of students and I personally am successful today because of the help I received through this organization."