James At age fifteen, I began a career in automotive restyling and restoration. I built on my success and after graduating high school started my own sole proprietorship, Custom Effects, by the age of twenty-two. However, life is full of unforeseen circumstances. In 2009, a number of conditions, including a six year divorce ordeal, the onset of manic depression, and the crash of the automotive economy, were almost a deadly mixture that caused me to give up on life. Hence, on January 28th, 2009, the lethal concoction of overwhelming stresses caused me to attempt suicide. Waking up three days later in the ICU, I was unaware of what happened and why I could not see. My arms were restrained so that I could not remove the breathing tube or other vital equipment. This was the scariest time of my life. I couldn’t see, move, or speak. At first, I felt like an Etch-A-Sketch, shaken after a life of achievement and that I had to start all over again from scratch. Yet, after surviving a fifteen percent mortality rate and only losing my eyesight to a gunshot wound, I was most fortunate to still be alive.
After two days of coming to grips with what transpired, I had a renewed determination. I told my father, “From this day onward, I have two choices: I can either be as a bump on a log and have others take care of me, or face this head on and press on forward.” I immediately called my sister, asking her to Google the Braille alphabet. Before I left the hospital, three surgeries and two weeks later, I taught myself the alphabet through the letter p.
Much has transpired since I was wheeled out of the hospital. I immediately found a mobility and braille instructor and attended a rehabilitation center for independence training.
I wanted my second chance at life to endow others with knowledge and inspire them to realize that even after a near death experience all is not lost- but just the beginning. I want people to see that disability fosters the ability to reach out and empower others; such experiences will immerse one in once unimaginable opportunities, allow the chance to meet many interesting, inspirational individuals, and stimulate the pursuance of long-life goals.
Hence, I returned to MTSU after fourteen years, majoring in Psychology. I made straight A’s during my second semester, with a GPA of 3.66. Currently, I am working with the NFB president to form a NAGDU state chapter, contributing to state legislation and the local Stones River chapter. In addition, within the past six months, three of my English 1010 essays were published in the magazine Blind Ambition.
In my infrequent spare time, I play on a men’s goal ball team, manage a side business customizing and accessorizing mobility canes, and give presentations and instruction on the iPhone and accessible technology. I have traveled to over seven states, competing in adaptive sports, acquiring a guide dog named Shep, delivering a commencement address at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center for my graduation ceremony, visiting the Center for the Blind in Colorado, investigating ATM machines throughout the state to ensure they are ADA compliant, and attending conventions. I was touched by Doctor Marc Maurer’s recent visit to our state convention. Dr. Maurer’s example and actions have influenced so many in bettering their lives; his zeal and determination to show that the tools, education, and support are out there was ever contagious.
Although my second chance at life has been filled with challenges, blindness has actually been a blessing, being as a fertilizer for my soul, developing my growth into a once more strong, independent person. I value the pricelessness of empowering others and immerse myself among positive influences, getting reinforcement from my family and friends. I have grown to truly appreciate life’s preciousness. If awarded this scholarship, I could achieve the goals that I have a passion for, such as becoming an assistive technology expert and counselor/mentor. Around my neck, a brass dog tag is inscribed in braille with the word “Bulletproof.” It reminds me daily that not even a bullet will hinder me from pursuing great things.

With unwavering determination, life’s obstacles cannot stand in the way of your success.

Today, many are overwhelmed by life’s pressures.
Life’s hardships cannot hinder the success of the determined individual.Boehm, blind, vision, blindness, visually impaired, NFB, ACB, guide dog, service dog, positive, disabled, eye, impaired, impairment, Kustom Cane, mobility cane, Blind Bargains, Blind Mice Mart, Ambutech, Braille, I phone, Iphone, Ipod, Mac, Apple, Jaws, VOice over, voice-over, window eyes, NAGDU, GDB, Guiding eyes for the blind, National federation of the blind, american counsel of the blind. Unlike posts, which are displayed on your blog’s front page in the order they’re published, pages are better suited for more timeless content that you want to be easily accessible, like your About or Contact information. 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Click This is an example of a pageJames, Boehm, blind, vision, blindness, bisually impaired, NFB, ACB, guide dog, service dog, positive, disabled, eye, impaired, impairement, Kustom Cane, mobility cane, Blind Bargains, Blind Mice Mart, Ambutech, Braille, I phone, Iphone, Ipod, Mac, Apple, Jaws, VOice over, voice-over, window eyes, NAGDU, GDB, Guiding eyes for the blind, National federation of the blind, american counsel of the blind. Unlike posts, which are displayed on your blog’s front page in the order they’re published, pages are better suited for more timeless content that you want to be easily accessible, like your About or Contact information. Click This is an example of a pageJames, Boehm, blind, vision, blindness, bisually impaired, NFB, ACB, guide dog, service dog, positive, disabled, eye, impaired, impairement, Kustom Cane, mobility cane, Blind Bargains, Blind Mice Mart, Ambutech, Braille, I phone, Iphone, Ipod, Mac, Apple, Jaws, VOice over, voice-over, window eyes, NAGDU, GDB, Guiding eyes for the blind, National federation of the blind, american counsel of the blind. Unlike posts, which are displayed on your blog’s front page in the order they’re published, pages are better suited for more timeless content that you want to be easily accessible, like your About or Contact information. Click This is an example of a pageJames, Boehm, blind, vision, blindness, bisually impaired, NFB, ACB, guide dog, service dog, positive, disabled, eye, impaired, impairement, Kustom Cane, mobility cane, Blind Bargains, Blind Mice Mart, Ambutech, Braille, I phone, Iphone, Ipod, Mac, Apple, Jaws, VOice over, voice-over, window eyes, NAGDU, GDB, Guiding eyes for the blind, National federation of the blind, american counsel of the blind. Unlike posts, which are displayed on your blog’s front page in the order they’re This is an example of a pageJames, Boehm, blind, vision, blindness, bisually impaired, NFB, ACB, guide dog, service dog, positive, disabled, eye, impaired, impairement, Kustom Cane, mobility cane, Blind Bargains, Blind Mice Mart, Ambutech, Braille, I phone, Iphone, Ipod, Mac, Apple, Jaws, VOice over, voice-over, window eyes, NAGDU, GDB, Guiding eyes for the blind, National federation of the blind, american counsel of the blind. Unlike posts, which are displayed on your blog’s front page in the order they’re published, pages are better suited for more timeless content that you want to be easily accessible, like your About or Contact information. Click the Edit link to make changes to this page or add another page.published, pages are better suited for more timeless content that you want to be easily accessible, like your About or Contact information. 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