2019 Council scholarship recipient, Hunter Lemerond, is finishing her senior year at UW-La Crosse. The Management and Marketing major is applying her degree toward a career in human resources. She recently sat down with Katherine Corbett, Council Writer, to discuss her decision to pursue an HR career, what she has learned along her journey to accept herself as a person with a visual impairment, and what she likes to do for fun.
Katherine Corbett: You recently accepted a job in human resources and have made the pivot from wanting to be a clothing buyer to doing HR work. Tell me more about that.
Hunter Lemerond: I decided to take a different direction with my career to be closer to my family, since I would need to move out to a larger city like New York or Los Angeles to be a clothing buyer. I have been working at Dortch Ford Lincoln Kia in Green Bay since high school. I started out washing cars in the lot and doing car details. I worked my way up to inside roles in the business development call center and this past summer I moved into the HR position. They had someone for payroll and employee benefits. They did not have anyone hiring and recruiting people, so that is what I have been doing. They offered me a full-time position, and I start as soon as I finish my degree.
Katherine: Your accommodations journey seemed to be a theme in your application and throughout your life. What does accommodation mean to you?
Hunter: When I first found out about my visual impairment, I was embarrassed about it. I did not want to appear different. I did not think I needed accommodations; I thought I should be able to get by without them. During middle and high school, I realized that would never have worked. As a college student, I am comfortable advocating for myself in a school setting. It will probably be a challenge to advocate in a work setting because it is different from school. I will be around people that I am comfortable with so it should not be a huge deal. I can see my growth in this area; my visual impairment is part of who I am now.
Katherine: What kinds of activities do you like to do in your spare time?
Hunter: I enjoy yoga, hanging out with my friends and shopping. I like doing outdoorsy stuff with my family. In the summers, we go up north where we spend a lot of time on the boat. In the winter, we like to go skiing and ride snowmobiles.
Katherine: How have you adapted your hobbies to accommodate your visual impairment?
Hunter: Shopping in stores is sometimes a challenge because seeing sizes and prices is difficult. I prefer to shop by myself because I like to take a long time to try clothes on. I use my phone to take pictures of tags to increase the font and see the price and size information. I use technology a lot and I do not know where I would be without it.
Katherine: What are three words friends or family members would use to describe you?
Hunter: They would say outgoing, determined, and influential.
Like Hunter, you can apply for a scholarship from the Council. Eligibility requirements include:
- Verification of blindness, legal blindness or visual impairment.
- Wisconsin residency.
- Acceptance/attendance at a post-secondary institution, including technical, vocational or community college, university, at the undergraduate or graduate level or the Business Enterprise Program.
- GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Applications are due by Friday, April 10, 2020. An application kit can be downloaded from the Council’s website. Only complete applications will be considered. All applicants will be notified of their status by late April. Selected candidates are expected to attend the Council’s annual Awards and Scholarship Lunch on Saturday, May 16 in Madison.