Beyond Boundaries: Reflections from the NFBNM State Convention

A Message from Penny Forward Founder and CEO Chris Peterson

Hi there, Penny Forward members and supporters. I wanted to share some of my reflections from my recent adventure at the National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico’s state convention. First and foremost, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to President Tara Chavez and the entire NFBNM membership for giving me a warm welcome. Your hospitality made my weekend unforgettable.

Now, let’s dive into the lessons and insights I gathered during this eye-opening experience.


Each Conversation Gets Easier

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not exactly a social butterfly. In fact, I’m often plagued by social anxiety when it comes to chatting up strangers. But you know what they say, practice makes perfect. Over the weekend, I discovered that engaging in conversations with new faces isn’t as daunting as I once believed.

Some people I met had already heard about Penny Forward, and they were thrilled to discuss the incredible work we’re doing. However, the majority had yet to learn about our organization. Still, they welcomed the opportunity to discover Penny Forward and offer their support. It’s essential to remember that perfecting your elevator pitch takes time, but you must start somewhere. I’ve chosen to prioritize building meaningful connections with the people I meet, leaving them with not only knowledge of Penny Forward but also an understanding of our values as an organization.

Whether these newfound acquaintances choose to become active members or not, I trust that the seeds I’ve sown will bear fruit in due course.


Becoming a Traveler Takes Practice

Navigating the world as a blind person has its challenges, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Whether I’m confidently wielding my trusty cane or accompanied by a loyal guide dog, I’m far from perfect. With said, with each journey, I find myself becoming more adept at familiarizing myself with new surroundings and handling the occasional need for assistance.

One thing I’ve realized is that people, regardless of their background, often share the same curiosity and willingness to help. Sure, some might be more assertive in their approach, but it doesn’t take long to notice that fellow travelers have the same questions and concerns I do. This shared experience adds an extra layer of enjoyment to my travels.

Moreover, by building deep connections with those who extend their helping hand, I’ve been able to expand our network of supporters in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Meeting people from all walks of life, accepting their assistance, and offering help in return has proven to be an invaluable investment.


Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

In closing, I can’t stress enough how travel has become a remarkable avenue for personal growth and for Penny Forward as an organization. I encourage each of you to seek opportunities to expand your horizons by exploring new places and connecting with different people. Trust me, it gets easier and more enjoyable with every adventure, and you might stumble upon opportunities you’ve never even dreamed of.

So, there you have it – my reflections from the NFBNM state convention. Until next time, keep exploring, keep growing, and keep making a difference in this beautiful world of ours. 🌎✈️

One response to “Beyond Boundaries: Reflections from the NFBNM State Convention”

  1. Shirley VandenHoek Avatar

    So excited for you and Penny Forward!

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