By Jennifer O’Donnell
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Robin Hester, 37, of Cherry Hill is just getting ready to finish her first successful year at Camden County College. She is proudly maintaining an A/B average but has to work a little harder than the typical college student.
Before the start of the 2011 fall semester, Hester figured out where all of her classes were and did a trial run. Once the semester started and students were everywhere, it became a struggle. “After about a month or so, I kind of got the hang of it,” Hester said.
Why the struggles with getting around? Hester is blind.
Hester was born with sight then contracted meningitis 12 years ago. The swelling in her brain pressed against her optical nerve and she lost her sight. “It was rough to be dependent on other people,” Hester stated.
Hester’s mother made a huge difference in her life. “She died before I lost my eyesight but she was very influential in my being goal oriented,” Hester said. Hester said her mother’s influence even played a part in her wanting to return to school.
Hester grew up in a faith-filled home but lost her way after her mother’s death. She eventually found her way back to God and the church. When she is not busy with classes, you can find her at the Bethany Baptist Church, where she is involved with drama, Bible study and the choir, Disciples For Christ.
Bishop David Evans of Bethany Baptist Church, Lindenwold, played a large part in Hester going back to school also. “He made sure everything was in place, the funding and the paperwork,” Hester said.
At Camden County College, Hester said she didn’t want professors to change their curriculum for her, because she can do the work. She just needs visual assistance with some projects.
This was confirmed by Assistant Professor of Communication Drew Jacobs, who teaches her and has taught approximately six blind students in his 12 years at CCC. He said he has never taken assignments out of his curriculum, “but I’ll find ways to make it work,” using scribes and visual assistants, so the blind students can complete the assignments.
Hester is a communications major and member of Christian Connections at CCC. She is planning to transfer to Temple University, where she would like to study radio and television broadcasting. Eventually she would like to have a talk show.