MPVI President- Amy Shepherd

My name is Amy Shepherd and I have been the President of MPVI for the past four years.  I also spent a few years as Secretary on the board.  We first became members fifteen years ago when our family moved to Ann Arbor from Denver, Colorado.  My husband, Andy and I both grew up in Kalamazoo.  My oldest son, Drew, is junior at Western Michigan University. He is in the Aviation Flight Science program and is a goalie on the Men’s Soccer Team.   My younger son, Austin, who is legally blind, is a junior at Ann Arbor Huron High School.  He loves Jazz, basketball, downhill skiing, triathlons, attending MPVI events, OUB Camps, the UofM Dearborn Birding By Ear program, the WMU VI Sports Camp, the YMCA and the WISD Leo Club. But more about me…I received my Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University where I stayed to pursue a Masters in Elementary Education.  As a student I played Division 1 tennis and eventually became a part-time tennis teaching professional. I have a passion for teaching and have spent the past sixteen years advocating for people with disabilities and particularly those who are blind and visually impaired.  This passion led me to working as the District Coordinator for Ann Arbor Public Schools Disability Awareness Workshops for 4th graders and I recently finished a two-year term on the Ann Arbor Commission for Disability Issues.   Some of my other volunteer efforts have included committee member positions on the Michigan Department of Education-Low Incidence Outreach Independent Living Skills committee, the UofM Council for Disability Concerns, tennis coach for the USTA & Brighton Adaptive Tennis and Wheelchair program, and soccer coach for the WMU Blind and VI Sports Camp.  I have held executive board positions on the Colorado Anchor Center for Blind Children, the Ann Arbor Parent Advisory Committee to Special Education, the Tappan Middle School PTO, Running Blind, the Wild Swan Theater, the Ann Arbor NFB, the Ann Arbor Host Lions Club and most recently the Ann Arbor YMCA.   I can honestly say that my involvement with MPVI has been the most rewarding of all of these experiences. MPVI has given us the opportunity to meet other families going through the same joys and struggles related to raising a child with a visual impairment.  MPVI has given us the opportunity to connect with other organizations and to find resources in our state and our local community.  MPVI has given us the opportunity to make lifelong friends and memories!   I am grateful to my MPVI family and I continue to serve so that others in our state can discover MPVI and benefit from all this incredible organization has to offer!