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Visually impaired Mott college student wins national scholarship

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Felicia Bradford, who suffers from a rare retina disorder, won one of 30 college scholarships from the National Federation of the Blind.

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A visually-impaired college student from Flint is being honored with a national scholarship from the National Federation of the Blind.

Felecia Bradford is one of just 30 people in the country to earn the award.

She was a member of the mounted police in Flint before she lost her vision suddenly while on the job.

"I had about 14 years on the police department at that time. My horse got me back to the barn, stopped at every traffic light," Bradford said of the day she suddenly couldn't see.

After visiting 16 doctors over the course of eight hours, Felecia was told she had a rare retina disease. Her vision was significantly reduced, but that didn't stop her from returning to school to start a new career.

She never imagined she'd be eligible for a scholarship award like this.

"Scholarships are great to have," Bradford said. "I never thought it would become of anything, but my friend Shelia, the president of the National Federation of the Blind, told me, 'Felicia just apply.'"

Sheila Fulmore is president of the National Federation of the Blind Flint Chapter.

"We are very proud of her because it's well deserved, and to be out of 50 states to be chosen of one of the 30, it's an honor," Fulmore said.

Bradford is studying to be a social worker at Mott Community College. She wants to help young people with the problems she faces every day.

"I know that there's a lot of people out there that would need my assistance and I can assist them by experience," Bradford said.

She has just one message for others with impaired vision.

"Don't allow whatever vision problems you have stop you from reaching your dreams," Bradford said.

She will receive her scholarship when she visits the National Federation's national convention in Houston, Texas, in July.

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