At 19, John and Shawn Moses are still considered teenagers, but they’re as serious as any adult about their career paths. John will graduate this May from the Culinary Arts Program at Kansas City Kansas Community College and Shawn was hired on December 12 as an early childhood educator in the Envision Child Development Center (ECDC).
The twins, whose vision loss is related to the Bardet-Biedl syndrome diagnosis they received at the age of 14, practically grew up in Envision’s youth programs. For Shawn, after spending eight continuous years at Heather’s Camp and Envision’s Assistive Technology (AT) middle school and high school camps – first as a camper and now as a mentor – he was certain he wanted to work with children. The Early Childhood Education Certificate he earned from Kansas City Kansas Community College put his career in motion.
“I wouldn’t have gone as far in my life as I have now without Envision,” Shawn said. “I remember going to Envision CEO Michael Monteferrante’s house during my first AT camp and standing up to share my experiences with the group. Michael shook my hand afterward and said ‘good job.’ That moment is when I really started to develop into the person I am today.”
Like his brother, John credits his participation in Envision youth programs for providing direction in his life.
“The friends I met at Envision helped me come out of my shell and helped me feel comfortable with my vision loss because they were going through the same thing,” John said. “I learned it was OK to be visually impaired and, even though I was blind, I could still go out and accomplish my dreams.”
John, who has loved being in the kitchen since a young boy, reached a significant milestone in his budding career on February 18 when he participated in a cooking demonstration at the annual Women’s Fair event at the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center in Wichita. John joined Paul Freimuth, executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Wichita, on stage as his sous chef to share tips with a crowd ready to learn how to make delicious deviled eggs with a twist and avocado toast.
“I’m most proud of my Culinary Arts education. I am able to perform all of the same things that sighted people do and have support behind me to keep me going even if I mess up,” John said.
Within Envision’s youth and young adult programs, John and Shawn learned lessons about teamwork and developed friendships that gave them the encouragement they needed to go out and pursue their dreams. That’s the goal we have for every young person we serve.
To learn more about our youth programs, contact Bonnie Cochran at 316-440-1510 or email@example.com