After a vote by the members of the 2022 – 2023 Travis Association for the Blind Leadership Development Program, Eric Sifuentes is the valedictorian of the inaugural graduating class.
Sifuentes, an Adaptive Technology instructor in the Lighthouse’s Mission Services department, was filled with gratitude when he heard the news.
“Thank you so much to the members of the LDP for placing such a high degree of confidence in my abilities,” said Sifuentes. “I recognize the importance of having peers recognize me for my capabilities.”
He extended his appreciation to everyone involved with the new program.
“I would like to thank our executive staff, with special consideration to Vince Boyd and CARLOS MERLA, who facilitated the training and instilled me, and my colleagues with invaluable knowledge. There is no doubt in my mind that all participants in this class have demonstrated an excellent drive for knowledge that has correlated With a strong level of growth. I am honored to have been invited and selected for valedictorian of the LDP group.
Vince Boyd, Vice President of Mission Services, works with Sifuentes as part of the leadership program and in the Mission services department. “Eric has been one of the most delightful and eager-to-learn people that I have worked with in my time at TAB,” said Boyd. “I remember a famous quote of (Benjamin Franklin): “tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This quote really signifies Eric’s ability and desire to learn about becoming a leader.”
When submitting their confidential votes, each member had the opportunity to offer remarks supporting their choice.
One of Sifuentes’s classmates said, “Eric demonstrates a passion for the Lighthouse and his work and consistently demonstrates he can be (is) a strong leader.”
“Eric is the biggest asset in the LDP inaugural class,” said another.
The Leadership Development Program (LDP), created by VP of Talent Acquisition and experienced career coach Carlos Merla, is a six-month training program for high-performing, innovative-thinking employees. The program focuses on coaching, supervisory skills, effective communications, and business knowledge.
As valedictorian, Sifuentes will serve as spokesman for the group during the upcoming graduation ceremony, a role one of his classmates believes is made for him. “Eric, in my opinion, is a natural at delivering a speech or presentation.”