Legally blind student experiences ‘a day in the life’ at dream job


PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) – What started as a love for cars for an East Texas student has turned into a passion.

“My goal is to own my own shop,” Tristen Stickle, senior at Jacksonville High School said.

He has loved cars his whole life, and his favorites include the Corvette and Chevy Silverado.

“I love the way they work, how fast they are, and the smiles they bring to everyone’s faces as they drive by,” he said.

On Tuesday, Stickle got a valuable lesson outside of the classroom as he spent the day at Killion’s Collision in Palestine, priming, prepping and painting car parts. Stickle said this was his first time working in a shop.

He works on the cars, relying on his sense of touch.

“He’s legally blind but he does have usable vision,” Community Relations Administrator for East Texas Lighthouse Empowering the Blind, Craig Ellis, said. “He can do it because most of the time they use their hands instead of their eyes you can feel for imperfections, sometimes better than you can see them.”

“This kind of thing helps everyone understand blindness better and what’s possible for someone who’s blind or visually impaired. Their limits are not as much as you think they are,” Ellis said.

Stickle said he is going to enroll in the automotive technology course at TJC this fall.

Published: Apr. 27, 2023


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