First blind graduate of McNeese State University

(Source: KPLC)
(Source: KPLC)

Blind since birth, Shandy Warran has never let her handicap keep her down. We first met when Shandy was three and visiting the Clydesdale Horses at Burton Coliseum, and I invited her several times to play her keyboard on 7 News Sunrise. So, it was no surprise to me or her family that Shandy pursued a college degree at McNeese.

"I had to learn my way around the campus, and it wasn't easy, but it was worth it, because I feel a lot more confident when I traveling now, thank God," said Shandy.

Through the McNeese Students with Disabilities Office, Shandy was able to get the equipment and support she needed.

"I could possibly be an inspiration to other blind students who would want to go to McNeese, because they have all the equipment now. I'm pretty sure they're not going to get rid of it all. Other blind students will have it too."

The 25-year-old Iowa native is encouraging a friend who is also blind to attend college.

"She is scared to death to go to college. I've been trying to counsel her. Basically I would tell anyone what I tell her: college is the one of the best experiences you can ever have in your life. Don't pass up the opportunity no matter what obstacles you face."

While McNeese has graduated many legally blind or partially blind students, Shandy is believed to be the first totally blind student to get her degree. She plans to pursue a job in the music field or audio engineering.

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