BALTIMORE — Students from Blind Services and Industries of Maryland prepared dinner for veterans at the Baltimore Station on Wednesday evening. The students cooking and serving are part of the CORE program. This is a 9-11 month program which teaches blind adults non-visual skills.
"The skills they learn in their time of training they can transfer them out into the real word in a real job setting," said Nikki Jackson, the Job Readiness Instructor at BISM who is also blind. "To show them just because your blind doesn’t mean you can’t be contributing and participating in your own community and do things everyone else does."
Jackson said someone taught her these skills and she loves to teach others how to be independent.
"We're just like everyone else, we just happen to do things differently," said Jackson.
Some of the students attending are fully blind while others are partially blind. Those who are partially blind have covers over their eyes to learn non-visual skills to prepare them for when they do become fully blind.
Wednesday they dedicated hours to cooking spaghetti and making cookies/bread from scratch for homeless veterans.
"We get to give back in the community with the veterans. Since they served our country, we get to serve them and also our students are really given the opportunity to test their skills out and be put into an environment and situation they may not be as familiar but show them hey you can use these skills and use them successfully," Jackson said.
The veterans these students served were happy to meet these students and grateful for their time. Frank Holland, an army veteran, said he respects these adults and understands working to overcome hard times.
"Just imagine you sitting you in your apartment and then you see your eye sight going away just like you’re sitting in combat and see your friend get blown away," said Holland "It’s a traumatic experience."
To learn more about the Baltimore Station or how to volunteer, click here.
To learn more about BISM, click here.