Founder of Blind Beginnings, Advocate for the Blind Community, MEd in Counselling, Retired Paralympian and Mother
As a passionate advocate for partially sighted and blind children and their families, Shawn Marsolais unwaveringly promotes the philosophy of limitless possibility. With a Masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling and almost twenty years of working tirelessly to support youth and families across BC, Shawn is uniquely suited to her role as Executive Director of Blind Beginnings. Since late childhood when Shawn learned she had a degenerative eye condition that resulted in her becoming blind, she has relentlessly set out to prove that anything is possible.
Shawn is an inspiring role model with a rich and accomplished list of achievements including: an International Internship as a Learning Support Assistant at a School for the Blind in England, competing as a tandem cyclist at the 2004 Paralympic Games, serving on multiple Not-for-Profit Boards and Societies, providing blind awareness training programs in educational and corporate organizations throughout BC, as well as successfully managing Blind Beginnings since 2008.
Shawn steps into the unknown with courage, confidence, and compassion, embracing change and growth for all people within her sphere of influence, including herself. Thoughtful and meticulous, Shawn loves serving the BC community and shares her broad knowledge and experience with a finely honed sense of humour, a balanced perspective, and unswerving commitment.
To ensure that Blind Beginnings is run to the highest benefit of their constituents, Shawn has surrounded herself with a team of people (both blind and sighted) who have business acumen and expertise in every realm required for the effective leadership and operations management of this small but mighty Not-for-Profit society.
And in addition to all that, Shawn is married and has a two-year old son Nicholas.
Throughout my childhood my family sat down to dinner together every night. One particular dinner stands out in my memory as the day my life changed. "You have an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa," my mom said. "Bet you can't say that three times fast!" my dad added, trying to lighten the mood. "Your vision will continue to get worse."