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Meet Laura Shroyer: CORE Program Graduate, Mother and now CORE Program Manager

Laura smiles knowingly as she stands in the BISM office wearing a black sweater and dark glasses.

Laura’s is an inspiring journey of determination, resilience and success.

Laura Shroyer learned, at an early age, what it meant to advocate for herself. Laura was born with congenital glaucoma, a degenerative eye disease which, over time, can cause total blindness. While Laura had limited sight as a child, she remembers that, throughout her high school years, Laura worked to navigate the public school system which had little understanding (or flexibility) when it came to blindness and accommodation.  Laura was forced to advocate for herself by pushing the administration for reasonable accommodation and assistance.  Predictably, her needs and requests were not always granted, and she encountered a lot of resistance as she was – sometimes – told she just “wasn’t blind enough.”

Laura took some time away from her educational endeavors to have her first child and, for a brief period, she focused on being a mom and raising a family. At the same time, however, Laura’s vision deteriorated to the point where she no longer felt satisfied or comfortable.  She decided to work with eye specialists and, in an effort to save her sight, underwent over ten surgeries in one year.  Unfortunately, her efforts were unsuccessful.  With a toddler depending on her and her vision nearly gone, Laura found herself at a crossroads.

More determined than ever, Laura started researching available resources and options. During a search on the internet, she came across BISM and its independence training programs. Laura took a tour and spoke at length with BISM’s incredible instructors.  She says she walked away from these conversations believing that BISM could afford her a chance to regain a sense of personal control and reclaim her independence. Laura enrolled in BISM’s CORE adult program. From the start, she was determined to apply the skills she had learned as a student and as a mom.  That determination allowed her to graduate from the CORE program after only six months – it typically takes 8-10 months to complete the program!

She graduated in 2004 brimming with newfound confidence and was able to bring her training and skills back home so she could raise her child and continue to live and work in her community.  Laura then decided that she wanted to enter the workforce and “pay forward” the skills and opportunities she learned at BISM. She was hired by BISM in 2005 – first as a receptionist and then, as an instructor in the ITR department.  She worked at BISM in this role for two years until she decided she needed to take some time and be with her kids.

In 2017, Laura returned to BISM and has since filled many roles.  From the production floor sewing military uniforms, to CORE Independent Living instructor and now, as the CORE Program Manager, Laura has brought an uncompromising sense of achievement and discipline to her work. As CORE Program Manager, Laura oversees a team of instructors, coordinates daily operations, and continually shapes the program that once shaped her. Alongside her professional journey, Laura raised a beautiful family, being a proud mother to three children, and a wife to a supportive husband of seventeen years. Laura is an inspiring example of how to embrace one’s own challenges and work towards carving a fulfilling path for life.