Meet Class #268
It’s another great day at Southeastern Guide Dogs, because today we celebrate the official commencement of Class #268. After today’s ceremony, nine first-time handlers will return home with their guide dogs along with a greater sense of courage and confidence.
Continue reading below to find out more about this unique class, a mix of students, athletes, parents, grandparents, professionals, retirees, music fans, scholars, and people just like you and me.
- Whether navigating their neighborhood or joining in family get-togethers, Eberto Torres and his first guide dog, Max, a strong and lovable black Lab, are ready to enjoy life. “Max is already my good friend,” Eberto says of his new best friend. These two are sure to succeed in all that they do together.
- Ginger M. found a perfect match in her first guide dog, Lucky, an adorable, loving and dependable yellow Lab.
- Amanda Ames just made a New Kids on the Block super fan out of her first guide dog, Misty. Not only will this playful black Lab give Amanda the confidence to travel for special cruises the band takes, but Misty will also guide Amanda through her studies at the University of Central Florida.
- It’s no wonder Fezzi, a sweet, fun-loving black Lab guide dog, was matched with Zoe Garcia. Together they embody the sweetness, fun, and generous spirit that Fezzi was named for – Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol. Zoe and Fezzi will share new adventures as Zoe heads into her senior year at the University of South Florida.
- Zak Guthrie is on the adventure of a lifetime with his first guide dog, Jacqui. This affectionate and cuddly black Lab is a lot smarter than her cuteness implies. With Jacqui navigating, Zak no longer worries about bumping into people or objects and feeling disoriented in crowds. Jacqui gives Zak the freedom to explore the world on his terms.
- David T. thought that having a guide dog was meant for people whose vision loss was worse than his own. But when he was matched with Harley, a smart, beautiful black Lab, he regained an independence he thought he’d lost. David plans to enjoy his newfound freedom by traveling with his wife and Harley.
- Hope Trentadue loves a good adventure and Traveler, a friendly, energetic yellow Lab and Hope’s first guide dog, is ready to be her guide and partner. This unstoppable duo will attend Hope’s senior year of high school and then it’s off to college for more adventures!
- Vanessa Coleman met her match in her first guide dog, a black and tan Lab named Bud. “Bud is sassy, just like me,” she jokes. Vanessa is a member of the USA Women’s Goalball team—a sport played by athletes with vision loss who wear blackout goggles and score goals using a ball with bells inside. Bud is the perfect teammate!
- Christy Wood and her first guide dog, Lola, share a love of people. Lola is a sociable and friendly black Lab who likes to mix and mingle just like Christy. Christy is already planning to fill her social calendar with Lola by her side.
Did you miss our live stream of today’s graduation? Don’t worry! You can still view it here. Congratulations Class #268 on your hard work and we can’t wait to see your progress together.