Marc Schmidt

Daily Point of Light # 3782 Aug 1, 2008

Marc is the Vice President for the Arizona Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), planning and coordinating statewide programs to assist them in their goal of empowering blind individuals to live productive, independent lives. He is also the founder and president of the newly formed West Valley Chapter of the NFB. He is also the state coordinator and a mentor for the Youth Slam, a National Science and Math Camp for blind youth held this past summer in Baltimore, MD. Marc is a member of the Phoenix Mayor’s Commission for Disabled Individuals, whose purpose is to advise the Mayor’s office on issues relating to the disabled. He serves as the head of the transportation committee, working to improve transportation for all citizens, especially the disabled.

In addition to these activities, Marc is an active musician, volunteering as the worship leader of Desert Sun Church for the past 22 years, and co-founding and touring with Extended Hand Ministries to sing, play, and share hope with those in rescue missions, rehab centers, and in the inner cities of America. Marc has led countless individuals toward services & resources helpful to their growth and independence; and spoken to several groups of students about healthy attitudes on blindness. From students to seniors, Marc has advocated for disabled people's rights and full integration locally, statewide, nationally and even abroad while a young student himself. Marc has educated the public on blindness through talks in classrooms & toastmaster meetings as well as a number of written articles. Through his involvement on the mayor's commission, he's working on long-term solutions to Phoenix Dial-A-Ride problems, affecting thousands disabled citizens. Through his gift of music, Marc has brought a message of hope, faith & courage to over 500 homeless & drug addicts in inner cities throughout the southwest.

Marc demonstrates his leadership as vice president of NFB’S state affiliate, starting a new chapter of the NFB in Sun City to serve the blind in the west valley, of which he's been president since its inception about 3 years ago. He served as elder for 6 years, and has led the worship ministry at his church in north Phoenix for 22 years. He has served on NFB’S state scholarship committee for several years and the National Scholarship committee for one year. In chairing the Mayor’s Commission on Disability Issues (MCDI) transportation committee, he has shown his innovation in how effectively he tackles complex issues, such as Phoenix's Dial-A-Ride problems. His creativity shows in articles & songs he's written, as well as at work at Arizona Public Service Company, where he has worked as an Engineer for the past 22 years.

As a man who’s been blind since birth from a congenital disease, Marc has lived his life as an inspiration to all those who meet him. Refusing to allow his blindness to be a handicap, he has shown that if we receive the training necessary, and refuse to be limited, our disabilities can be reduced to mere nuisances.