It's not uncommon for young students to have trouble reading the board from their seats, learning that they require glasses. But for Emely Recinos, her trouble was different -- she began walking into things and tripping up stairs -- only to learn that she suffered from cone-rod dystrophy, a rare genetic condition that eventually causes blindness.
Recinos just graduated from Beacon High School in Manhattan and plays piano by memory, sings, and reads in Braille. Though she is not entirely blind, she walks with the help of a cane. Despite these setbacks, she will be a freshman at New York University this coming fall.
"I have always been academically driven," she told NBC. "But when I was told I might be blind, I thought I wouldn't be able to go to school anymore. So I made it a point to show that despite my impairment, I could be a success."
Despite bullying from her peers and teachers that just didn't understand, Recinos thrived. She was one of 15 students to receive a scholarship from Lighthouse Guild NYC, which is one of the largest vision and healthcare non-profits in the area.
"It's a big transition," Recinos said of attending college this fall. She will study international relations in hopes of helping visually impaired children access education globally. "I want other kids to know that even though the beginning is awful and you think it's the end of the world, slowly, it gets better."
Lead Image Credit: NBC