Celebrating 100 VR Stories: Pete Benavidez

Pete Benavidez, President, Blindness Support Services, Inc.
Tell us about you?

I was introduced to services offered by The California Department of Rehabilitation in 1980. As the result of services provided to me … over the past 20 years, I have received Congressional Recognition for my work as a community leader and similar awards from other organizations such as The California Endowment, The Riverside Fair Housing Council, The California Council of the Blind, and The National Philanthropy Association.

How have VR Services impacted you?

I was able to overcome various mental and emotional feelings such as denial, low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, and a feeling of hopelessness.

As my career grew over a period of 37 years, I can truly say that; “As a person who lives with a visual impairment, I developed a working knowledge of blindness, blind persons and a philosophy of promoting independence.”

What does 100 years of VR mean to you?

The first 100 years of VR Services has had numerous success stories and has set the table for the next 100 years. I am especially interested and will do what it takes to ensure that such services will lead to a more inclusive community of leaders from diverse backgrounds in our great Nation.