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Meet Linwood Boyd, BISM Peter J. Salmon Award Nominee

Linwood works filling bottles in the chemical room.

Linwood Boyd is a former BISM student and present day Baltimore Production Associate extraordinaire who works in our chemical room. Linwood celebrates 18 years with BISM in July.

Linwood is the recipient of the BISM Peter J. Salmon Award. The Peter J. Salmon Employee of the Year Award was established in 1968 by the NIB (National Industries for the Blind) Board of Directors. The award is named after the late Dr. Salmon, one of the nation’s outstanding advocates for people who are blind, who was instrumental in the passage of the Wagner-O’Day Act in 1938 and the formation of NIB and who served on the board of directors of NIB in its early years.

This is a recognition well deserved for his unwavering dedication to his career and remarkable achievements throughout his journey at BISM. Linwood’s story goes beyond accolades; it’s a narrative of triumph over adversity and his endless pursuit for independence.

In July of 2004, Linwood began experiencing a decline in his vision, accompanied by discomfort in bright light and persistent headaches. A visit to the eye doctor revealed a hemorrhage and optic nerve damage, attributed to medication he was taking for spinal meningitis treatment.

At 37, Linwood lost most of his vision, a sudden and overwhelming change. Like many in similar circumstances, the rapidity of events left him little time to process the situation before facing life without sight. Accustomed to a fully independent adult life that he navigated without any accommodations, this change would require Linwood to adapt to a new way of living and for him to redefine independence.

During his hospitalization, Linwood was introduced to BISM and was encouraged to explore the independence training and rehabilitation program offered. This recommendation sparked a transformative journey, altering the course of his life.

Linwood graduated from our CORE program in June of 2006. What kept him motivated throughout his rigorous training program was a constant pursuit of his one goal: to become fully independent like he once was. He credits the BISM CORE staff for helping him build his confidence back up, enabling him to accomplish his goal of rediscovering independence.

Linwood’s former instructor, Jennifer Bopp recalls Linwood as “a very hard worker, and dedicated student. He’s a fast learner and applied the skills that he’d learned.”

Following graduation, Linwood became an integral part of TeamBISM, embracing the flexibility to explore diverse roles within the company, feeling empowered and encouraged by the skills he learned in the CORE program. Starting in vending, moving to IT, and transitioning to paper production, Linwood is currently excelling in chemical production and taking what he’s learned in each department with him to every venture.

“I learned a lot from all the people I worked with. I was able to take those skills and apply them wherever I went. For me, going through CORE was like learning everything over again from kindergarten, but I feel like I have really achieved my goal. I can pick up my cane and go where I need to go- I don’t need to wait for anyone, and I can learn anything with patience.”

Linwood’s journey from being a student at BISM to becoming a vital part of our community is a testament to resilience, determination, and the transformative power of opportunity. Linwood says he loves what he does now with a smile so big you cannot help but feel it. He says that BISM saw potential in him, and he does not forget to mention his excitement to continue learning and growing with the organization.

What does it mean to Linwood to win the employee of the year award?

“It means a lot. It means that I am important. It’s very exciting to represent BISM. I’ve been through a lot here to move up, and I’m learning little by little.”

We are extremely fortunate to have such a star as a part of TeamBISM.

Congratulations, Linwood!