October 25, 2020
Hi, my name is Alexandria Nicole Williams, but you can call me Lexie. I am 20 years old and currently live in Smyrna Tennessee. Life has not been so easy for me, because I was born with a disability. My mother and father, Taronda and Douglas Williams, welcomed me into the world on Wednesday, December 15, 1999 at Southern Hills hospital. I was not a perfectly healthy baby. When I was born, I had cataracts in both of my eyes. That means that there was cloudiness on the lenses in my eyes. I was operated on my eyes at two weeks old on one eye and four weeks old on the other. Then three months later, I was diagnosed with glaucoma and nystagmus. Glaucoma is when the pressures in both of my eyes are not stable, and I must get my eye pressures checked every six months. Nystagmus is when my eyes will not stay still. When I get pictures taken, the photographer will need to tell me to look at them because sometimes I cannot control where my eyes want to look. I also had a retina detachment in both eyes and had to have surgery to fix it. I started wearing glasses when I was six months old and up until now. At age 12, I went blind in my left eye. Because I waited to tell my family and the doctors about it, they were not able to save my left eye. My only good eye is my right eye, so we are making sure that my eye is ok and healthy. I pretty much have been visually impaired for most of my life.
I grew up in La Vergne Tennessee, and I am an only child. I kind of like it sometimes because I don’t have to share my parents. There are times when I do get lonely and wish for a sibling, but I am happy that I am the only child. I did not have a lot of friends while growing up, and I never went to a public school. At age three, I went to Rock Springs Elementary School. My main teacher was Ms. Molly, but I do not remember if I had a vision teacher or not. If I was not in the peer program, I would spend most of the days with my granny and my aunt Shonda. Then at age six, my mom enrolled me at Tennessee School for the blind aka TSB. TSB is a school for blind and visually impaired students. The teachers and staff are very nice there, and this school makes kids with eye problems feel equal. I also made a lot of friends while I was there. TSB accepts local day students as well as dorm students, so the staff will stay over night with the students who live too far away to go home every day. The dorm students will stay from Sunday night until Friday, and they will go home on the weekends.
While I was at TSB, I participated in sports such as goal ball, track and field, and cheerleading. I also was on the forensics team, meaning public speaking and debating, and I participated in the student council. I served as the events representative. I had the job to schedule the events and made sure everything was going as planned. I also participated in YELL, Youth Excel Learning in Leadership program. I received many awards while I was at TSB, mainly for art and music. I participated in art contest, and I auditioned and performed with the Midstate Choir. I won first place for outstanding cheerleader for TSB in 2016, and I was very proud of myself.
While being at TSB, I learned how to read as well as write braille. That way if I do go completely blind, I will still be able to write and be independent. I graduated TSB as the Valedictorian of my graduating class in 2019. Now, I currently go to school at Motlow State Community College in Smyrna. I also went to TRC for my Voc and VIS evaluations, and I also went to a camp called CHIPS, Intro into Coding. Even though I was the only visually impaired student there, I had a great time at the camp. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly and the staff at TRC were very nice and very helpful to me. I even got interviewed for a news story for students going into businesses and college.
My main goal in life is to do something helpful and nice for others. After I graduate from Motlow State, I want to transfer to a four-year college to get my degree in special education for elementary kids. Then I will go get my license to work with kids who are blind and visually impaired. Lastly, I want to go back to TSB or go to another school and help children with disabilities. I want to give back. I had people in my life to help me be the person that I am today. I want to do the same and help other children with disabilities. I want them to feel accepted and be successful regardless of their disabilities.
Besides being a special educations teacher, my goal is to give and help others in need. I want to get married and have an amazing love life like my parents. I also want a small dog, like a Pomeranian, so I can have a little buddy to play with. I love Pomeranians because they’re small dogs, and I will never get lonely with them. I love to draw as well as singing and dancing. I love to make TikTok videos, and I like to make YouTube videos just for fun. Maybe one day, I can do that as a side job or become famous for my hidden talents.
The main thing about me is that I want to make others happy. I want to treat people with respect and make people with disabilities feel appreciated and loved. I have a kind heart, and I want to be sweet and care for others. What I want everyone to know is to never give up on your dreams. Sometimes I feel like giving up when life tests me or when things go wrong. I wish to have perfect vision and have my eye disorders be cured. I wish that I had an eye trans plant where someone would be kind enough to donate their eyes to me. I realized though that I am gifted. I do not see myself as being disabled. I may have a disability, but I am gifted. Never give up on your dreams. Keep trying. Things will get better if you just believe. Things will go your way if you try your best. Never change for anyone. No matter how people judge you or bully you, never let that overcome you. Be the best person you can be. Remember the saying, “sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” No matter how good or bad things get, if you believe in yourself, then you can change the world.