Box 3, Folder 17, Document 53

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Box 3, Folder 17, Document 53

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' Student Helps Others.
---People rie Cannot See


. Gary Wood is a college stu-
dent spending his summer
months working for Urban
Corps, a citywide program de-
signed to involve young people
in the secial and political life of
the city.

Gary, 23, works with the
_Rent-a-Kid project receiving job
orders from potential employers
of the 2,000 youngsters in the

Like most college students
who devote their vacation time
to helping other people, Wood
finds his work “very fulfilling
and rewarding.” But unlike
most students, Gary cannot see
the people he helps—he is to-
tally blind.

While a senior at Russell High
School in East Point, where he
lives, Gary underwent seven op-
erations to remove three tumors
behind his eyes. Caused by a
rare eye disease, the tumors
were successfully destroyed.

However, the healing of the
scar tissue caused the retinas to
become detached and covered,
resulting in total blindness.

Wood says he went through
“a traumatic experience” fol-
lowing his blindness. He found it
“a time of evaluation and ap-
praisal’’ when he had his first
deeply religious encounter.

“My experience with Christ

was the time when I began to
reach for greater heights,” he GARY WOOD FINDS JOB

said in a soft voice. Blind College Student

After graduation from high!
5" of the freshman class and was
school, Wood attended special | elected to Who's Who in Ameri-

schools for the blind in Alabama can Junior College. In addition

and in Atlanta where he learned | to other activities, he was a |

how to read Braille. member of Phi Theta Kappa, an
He then attended Truett Mc-| honorary scholastic epcily.

Connell Junior College in Cleve-

land, Ga. He received an Asso-| Gary met his wife Carrol in
ciate in Arts degree last winter} junior college. They were mar-
‘quarter. ried after 16 months. ‘Mrs.
While there, he was president | Wood, who is not blind, is em-

—. Sa,

fee aE RSE Nr mneeE NNO TER TTI Re te ane RMT RE ETE TIM ee pee NT, IE


Staff Photo—Marion Crowe
Works for Urban Corps

iployed at. the South Fulton
| Neighborhood Service Center.

GARY HAS A “sense of want-
ing to be complete and effective
in what I do.”’ Despite his blind-
ness he wants to be an inde-
pendent person.

“Being blind makes me want
to be more independent and to
be a positive influence,” he

and the only way to know my-

self is to know others, to iden-

tify with them and try to relate
| to them,’’ he commented.

Mr. and Mrs. Wood will both
attend Mercer University in the
fall where she will work toward
a degree in social studies.

He plans to major in psychol-
ogy and hopes to go on to grad-
uate school. He likes counseling
and guidance work and looks

| forward to the day when he will

‘thave his own private practice

as a psychologist.

“My goal is to know myself



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