Support our Blind Beginnings Team in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

Help us Reach Our fundraising goal of $1,000 before June 23.

Meet the Blind Beginnings team members who are participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge 5k Run on June 23rd. Our three featured team members are Blind Beginnings Youth Leader Jinnie Saran, Blind Beginnings President Betty Nobel, and Blind Beginnings founder and Executive Director Shawn Marsolais.


Meet Jinnie Saran.

Headshot photo of Jinnie looking happy and wearing a red t-shirt with a white floral design.

Jinnie has been involved with Blind Beginnings since 2014 as part of the Youth Leadership Program and she is currently serving her third term as the Youth Representative on the Blind Beginnings Board of Directors.

Since Jinnie was not exposed to many other people who were blind or partially sighted her own age before coming to Blind Beginnings, she was not aware of the potential she had within herself. It was through Blind Beginnings’ Youth Leadership and Pre-Employment programs that Jinnie realized she would one day be able to go to university. In the What Happens After Grad Workshop, Jinnie learned she could take her career path in whatever direction she chooses, which has guided her towards her education and career aspiration of becoming a writer. Lastly, physical activity was something Jinnie didn’t think she could do until she came to Blind Beginnings and completed the Do The Grind Blind Challenge. This was a challenge where 9 youth who are blind or partially sighted climbed Vancouver’s infamous and grueling hike that climbs over 850 meters up Grouse Mountain. She is excited to run in this 5k!

Please consider supporting Jinnie by clicking here to make a donation. All of the money raised goes towards supporting programs for children and youth who are blind and partially sighted reach their full potential. Go Team Blind Beginnings!

Click here to donate to Jinnie’s run.


Meet Betty Nobel.

Photo of Betty Nobel sitting on a couch reading a book to a young girl.

Betty Nobel, blind from birth, is a teacher of students with visual impairments and is currently the chair of the board of Blind Beginnings. Betty has taught blind children and adults many different lessons, but the most important one, she insists, is that people who are blind have limitless potential to dream big and become successfully employed. “Participation in many different activities, taking risks, and believing in your abilities helps you gain confidence. Blind Beginnings gives children the opportunity to be who they are and to discover their abilities. Thank you for your support of this very worthwhile charity.”

Click here to donate to betty’s Run.


Meet Shawn Marsolais.

Shawn standing at the base of Grouse Mountain near the Grouse Grind trailhead being interviewed by a news outlet before hikers take off for Do The Grind Blind.

Most people know that Shawn Marsolais is the founder of Blind Beginnings, but they might not know that she is also an athlete. She began as a competitive swimmer in 1993, and set a couple of Canadian records! She then took up the sport of tandem-cycling, and competed internationally including at the Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004. When she retired from the sport of cycling, she wasn’t ready to give up sport altogether and soon claimed a spot on the National Women’s Goalball team. She retired from International sport in 2010 when focusing on Blind Beginnings was consuming most of her time, but she did not stop playing sports. Shawn continued to play goalball recreationally, she dragon-boated, cross-country skied, cycled, ran, swam, and did yoga regularly.

Once Shawn became a parent it became more difficult to find time for sports, which is why Shawn is so excited to be running with the Blind Beginnings team on June 23rd. She’ll be running with her friend Carmen, and her husband and son will be there to cheer her on.

Click here to donate to Shawn’s Run.

We thank you for your support of Blind Beginnings. Your donations are helping children and youth who are blind and partially sighted across BC to reach their full potential through educational and experiential workshops, pre-employment training, summer camps, recreational activities and individualized counselling.

Blind Beginnings envisions a world where seeing things differently inspires limitless potential for children and youth who are blind and partially sighted in BC.