We all know that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression and that putting one's best foot forward is a crucial component in building the relationships that will help us live the lives we want. So, when Eileen Rivera Ley of Ley and Associates and Cathleen Hanson with the International School of Protocol approached us about providing intensive instruction in social etiquette, dining skills, and strategies for improving interpersonal communication and networking, we were thrilled to partner with them.
Over the course of three days, Ms. Hanson and Ms. Ley, a tremendously successful blind woman and wife and business partner of LCB Chairman of the Board Tom Ley, worked with students in our Summer Training and Employment Project (STEP) Program on the above named skills. However, it was certainly not all work and no play. It as rewarding to realize that the students could learn a great deal and have a blast while doing so.
The training culminated in a formal dinner at a local venue for which everyone dressed to kill--drawing looks of admiration and smiles from patrons, wait staff, and instructors. Ms. Ley and Ms. Hanson discussed how gratified they were to witness the students' progress, particularly in such a short amount of time. This was Ms. Hanson's first opportunity to instruct blind teens. She readily admitted how much she learned in the finer points of alternative techniques from Ms. Ley and from observing the students as they put them into practice. The Louisiana Center for the Blind is appreciative of our guest instructors for their diligence in sharing such valuable life-long knowledge and skills with our students and program counselors!