Blind teenager doesn't let disability slow her down - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Blind teenager doesn't let disability slow her down

July 25, 2003

Grady County - Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Ronnie Milsap...musicians who overcame their disabilities to become world-famous performers. Such is the case with a teenager right here in South Georgia.

Andrea Jenkins is not your typical 15 year old. She speaks French, sings in Spanish, and plays the piano by ear. But the most extraordinary thing about this teenager is that she's learned these things all on her own while being blind.

"I really don't feel like blindness is really a problem for me," says Andrea. "I really do a lot of the normal things that everyone else does."

And so much more. Andrea was born pre-mature. She weighed only one pound, six ounces. "They call me the miracle baby," she says.

But she's never let her blindness stop her from doing anything she wanted to do. Andrea performs at youth rallies and events all across Georgia. She even placed first in a state pageant for disabled people.

Grandmother Frances Gray, couldn't be prouder. She says, "We've always had faith in God and we knew that his will would be done with her and so far it has, and she has really been blessed and we have too, everyday."

Andrea says having a disability doesn't mean you can't pursue your dreams. "You have a vision, you have a dream to go out and do something for the world, I think you need to pursue it," says Andrea. "God's given you that dream and you need to go for it." And that's just what Andrea is doing.

She has a CD called "Songs of Deliverance" that will be released on Thursday, July 31st. The CD can be found at Miss Myrts, Cuts-n-Curls and Pat's Hair Fashions in Cairo.

Andrea Jenkins will be a freshman at Cairo High School this year. She says she's a little nervous, but she thinks she'll be fine.

posted at 4:32 PM by karen.collier@walb.com