Visually Impaired Guyana Native Earns GED

Visually Impaired Guyana Native Earns GED

Posted on Sep.30, 2009, by , under Inspirational Stories

OXFORD – Anything can be achieved with enough determination, no matter what the obstacle. Of this, 24-year-old Samantha Wackford is living proof.

In June, the young woman passed a high school equivalency exam to earn her General Education Degree. While this may not seem like a huge accomplishment for some, for the Guyana native who lost her sight after she was burned by acid, it has been no small feat.

In April of 2002, just two short weeks before she was set to graduate from high school in her homeland, “Sam” (as she is called by her friends), was the victim of an intentional attack, which both blinded her and left her permanently scarred.

After spending more than a year recovering, she moved to Boston. It was there that, while enrolled in an adult independent living program at the Carroll School for the Blind, she met Troy Wackford. The Oxford native, who was in the same program, had been diagnosed at a young age with Retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition which had caused his vision to gradually deteriorate over time.

It didn’t take long for the two to fall in love, and in October of 2007 they were married. Shortly after, the couple moved to Troy’s hometown.

Despite her loss of vision, Sam Wackford never lost sight of her goal of furthering her education.

“I wanted to get my GED,” she explained. And in September of 2008, she began working toward that goal. Her first step was to sign up for the Adult GED program offered through DCMO BOCES, which is how she met Instructor Anne Walters.

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