Vision Hero Ambassador
In 2008, when Jeremy’s life suddenly went dark at the age of 19, his world did not stop. Rather, Jeremy transformed the challenge into an opportunity. Carmel Valley resident Jeremy Poincenot is an inspirational speaker, blind golf champion, and Vision Hero Ambassador for The Vision of Children Foundation.
A rare genetic disorder – Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy – rendered Jeremy legally blind when he was a sophomore at San Diego State University. He was quickly connected to the support and resources of The Vision of Children Foundation. “Their mission is to cure hereditary childhood blindness and other vision disorders, and to improve the lives of visually impaired individuals and their families,” Jeremy explained. As he travels the country speaking as the organization’s ambassador, his message is universal. “It’s inevitable that we will all face obstacles, some are minute and some are so daunting we don’t know how to proceed. I’ve learned that how you face these obstacles will determine your happiness and your character. That’s the message I strive to get across through my speaking engagements,” Jeremy acknowledged. “I enjoy having the opportunity to provide inspiration because I see myself as just a guy doing normal things, who happens to be blind.”
Name: Jeremy Poincenot
Community: Carmel Valley
Volunteer Affiliation: Vision of Children Vision Hero Ambassador and C.U.R.E Ride (Cycling Under Reduced Eyesight)
Occupation: Inspirational Speaker and Blind Golf Champion
The “normal things” for Jeremy include traveling, golfing, and biking. “Every year since I became legally blind, my friends and I have conducted the C.U.R.E. (Cycling Under Reduced Eyesight) Ride. We ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego raising money for research for hereditary vision disorders and awareness of blindness,” he stated. Jeremy completes the ride as part of a tandem team.
His true passion, though, is golf, which he played competitively in middle and high school. Jeremy admitted, “When I lost my sight I was devastated thinking that I would not be able to play golf again.” Then he learned of the United States Blind Golf Association. He acknowledged he was skeptical and hesitant at first. “Then I decided to give it a shot. And from the first round, I realized that nothing is impossible.” He travels with his father who has been his golf partner and serves as his guide and teammate.
Today, as the Vision Hero Ambassador, Jeremy’s resume is brimming with tournament wins, long distance cycling tours, and speaking engagements. “Through these activities I’ve been able to raise awareness for blindness and the challenges those of us with limited sight face every day.”
Group: The Vision of Children Foundation
Mission: To cure hereditary childhood blindness and other vision disorders, and to improve the lives of visually impaired individuals and their families.