February 23, 2021
February is Low Vision Awareness Month, and in recognition of this important observation, we’d like you to meet Juandez Scruggs. Dez has worked at Clovernook Center for seven years as a collator operator in the Braille Printing House’s bindery department and has a vision impairment that causes him to be low vision. He was diagnosed with Lebers Optic Neuropathy, a hereditary visual impairment. His impairment came as a shock when he woke up one day and couldn’t see street signs or the whiteboards at school. Fortunately, his visual impairment has been stable since 2018.
Outside of work, Dez is a busy man: he’s a coach for Hughes High School’s freshman basketball team, a motivational speaker, and recently started a podcast, CourtSide TakeOver. Dez says he has always wanted to be a voice for the voiceless, and becoming a motivational speaker is a way to make that possible. He shares knowledge, wisdom, and education as he talks to kids, adults, coaches, church pastors and more. He feels it is a way to give back what he knows.
In addition to all this, Dez finds time to give back to his community in other amazing ways. As a coach, he has experienced firsthand the toll that the pandemic has had on students. He started the CourtSide TakeOver Scholarship Fund to distribute a $500 grant to two individuals to use for higher education. These grants will go to one young man and one young woman who’ve maintained a 3.0 GPA and been accepted to college.
Giving back is very important to Dez because he feels blessed he was able to continue working during the pandemic. Because of this, Dez also aspires to launch a back-to-school drive to fill 100 book bags with supplies and distribute them to students in need. He remembers being that kid going to school with little or no school supplies and knows just how hard it can be paying for supplies or for college tuition.
Dez says that if he is able to help one kid, he considers CourtSide TakeOver to be a success. For more information on CourtSide TakeOver, or to donate to the scholarship fund or the Back To School Drive, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CourtSide-TakeOver-105028507896900 or email Courtsideto@gmail.com. Thanks for all you do for Clovernook Center and the community, Dez!Back to News