The aim of the Georgians Empowered through Mentoring Success (GEMS) program is to link blind and low vision young adults throughout Georgia, ages sixteen to twenty-six, with successful blind and low vision mentors for the purpose of increasing their knowledge and participation in their educational and vocational rehabilitation processes with a resulting outcome of increased post-secondary academic success, high-quality employment, and community integration. The GEMS program pairs blind and low vision young adults with positive blind role models who demonstrate good blindness skills, incorporate an exemplary philosophy on blindness into their daily lives, and are successful in their chosen careers.
Negative attitudes and mistaken perceptions about blindness are the largest barriers to our independence and full participation in society. Unfortunately, the general public believes that blind people should be relegated to the role of dependent, custodial beneficiaries of societyâ??s good will. Equally as offensive, others feel the blind are extraordinary simply because we perform the fundamental tasks, and accept the basic responsibilities, that are expected from all citizens. To counter these negative attitudes and mistaken perceptions, the NFB of Georgia works aggressively to empower blind people with a positive self-concept of independence and self-worth, while simultaneously educating the public about the true potential of the blind. We strive to promote positive, inclusive, perceptions of blind people, so that we can exercise our right, like any other American, to live, work, and play in our communities and be appreciated as everyday people living life every day.