Sharon Giovinazzo | World Services for the Blind | President and CEO
Beginning Interests…I think simply said…. baptism by fire. Upon losing my vision at the age of 31, I was given access to resources that taught me that a lack of sight doesn’t have to mean a lack of vision. I learned that blindness doesn’t have to be more than an inconvenience if provided the right tools. After all, a construction worker cannot build a home without the proper tools. Through my own journey I knew I could impact the lives of others with visual impairments by proving that when others tell you that something is impossible that you can turn that into I AM POSSIBLE!
Career Evolution…I did not intentionally enter a STEAM related industry! What I discovered along the way is that technology truly levels the playing field for people who are blind and visually impaired. When a person who is blind has the same access to information as everyone else the chance for success intensifies; but it does not remove the stereotypes and misconceptions that society holds about people’s capabilities. That is why I do what I do.
Love the Work…What I love most about my job is being able to change the narrative in people’s lives and showing them how to make their next chapter their best chapter. I literally get to see people go from surviving to thriving everyday.
Surprising But True…The naysayers might surprise you. People think because you are girl that you can’t be an engineer or a math genius, but with hard work you will disprove those naysayers one at a time.
Advice…The same advice offered by my father…. If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life. Find your why and go for it!
Day at Work…There is truly no typical workday. With multiple types of stakeholders, paired with employees, clients and caring for a 75 year-old facility, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected. But even with that being said what is typical is our ability to leverage the power of relationships and networks, to work across private, public and corporate sectors to improve employment outcomes for the clientele served.
These wonder women are redefining what “full STEAM ahead” means in Arkansas. With exciting careers in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – each reflects WIT (Women in Tech) and true grit for making the most of every opportunity. Here’s to the powHER of knowledge.
Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography