“My college experience has been a learning curve,” says Shayna Wederath, a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. “I found that there were some places that I wasn’t totally prepared. Now I am putting in the work this semester to get myself to where I am prepared and starting to move toward a successful college career.”
Shayna, from Clintonville, was the recipient of a 2021 Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired scholarship. The Council awards scholarships of up to $2,000 each year to several Wisconsin high school or college students living with vision loss.
Like many college students, Shayna found the 2021-22 academic year to be challenging. She points to some of the people she has met through the Council as a source of inspiration that has helped her persevere.
“The Council has been always a group of people I have looked up too,” Shayna says. “They are people who have been through similar situations and have succeeded. It gives me motivation to advocate for myself and others,” she says.
Shayna is studying psychology with hopes to become a rehabilitation therapist.
Finding the best strategies to overcome the obstacles she has encountered on campus has taken time. “UW-Stevens Point and I are working together to find the right accommodations for me,” Shayna says. “This spring semester we got to reflect on what works in class and what we need to work on. We found some solutions that have been very helpful.”
Among the classes she has taken, Shayna has found Public Relations to be one of the most interesting. “I like learning how to communicate effectively,” she says. “It is a skill that helps me better advocate for myself.”
Meanwhile, Shayna is finding time for fun. “I have a group of friends who live in my hall. We do things like movie night and eat dinner together,” she says. “We are a part of the leadership team. We come up with activities to do with our students in the halls to bring us together.”
Shayna’s summer plans include spending some time advancing her braille and access technology skills. But the summer won’t be all work and no play. She also enjoys fishing and kayaking on her grandparents’ lake.
We will be announcing our 2022 Council Scholarship recipients later this spring.