SYRACUSE, NY – Aurora of CNY, Inc. presented its Excellence Awards recently at its annual meeting at the Mulroy Civic Center in Syracuse.
Nasser Fitwi: Blind since he was eight years old, Fitwi came to Syracuse almost two years ago from a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Without the help of any vision at all, he had to learn his way around and adjust to a new culture, country and climate. Aurora helped with mobility training, assistive devices such as tape recorders, and advice on handling the reams of paperwork that face a new immigrant. Fitwi learned quickly and now he is working to give back and help others. At Aurora he tutors consumers in English as a Second Language. He lives in Syracuse.
Timothy Conners: Conners, an 11th-grader at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, says he’s up for the challenge of dealing with both cancer and blindness. It’s a relatively new challenge for him. He became legally blind just over a year ago due to the cancer, and he had a bone marrow transplant last year. Conners is still a member of G. Ray Bodley’s varsity football team, and wears his jersey when he goes to games to root for his team. Conners, who lives in Fulton, said he plans to attend college after graduation.
Lindsay Ryan Anthony: Anthony, who has been deaf all of her life, has a long history with Aurora. She worked in Aurora’s Summer Education Program and then joined Aurora’s Deaf Employment Services staff. During her time at Aurora, Anthony held lunchtime sign language classes for staff, took part in the agency’s Deaf Awareness Week activities, and was always willing to do whatever was necessary to represent Aurora and educate the community about deaf culture. Anthony is a member of the Deaf Advocacy Council of Central New York and now works for Project Emerge, a collaboration between Arise and Vera House, where she advocates for people with disabilities who experience domestic and sexual abuse. Anthony lives in Syracuse.