Why has Karina won this award?

Karina is a hugely-valued member of the LOOK mentoring team. A fantastic written communicator, it has been a delight to see Karina’s mentoring connection with her mentee blossoming this year through discussing their shared interests and exchanging recommendations.

Karina’s friendly, approachable and resourceful nature shines through in her written mentoring in how she focuses on supporting her mentee with her goals by providing helpful resources and information wherever she can. Keep up the great work Karina!

Don’t just take our word for it….

Who better to sum up why Karina is such a fantastic mentor, than Karina’s mentee!

‘Karina is a wonderful mentor and lovely friend. I am very fortunate to have her as a mentor, she supports me in my career, she inspires me, always listens to me and makes sure I do the best in my studies. Karina is a very respectful and sweet mentor. I am grateful to God for having her as my amazing mentor.’

Meet Karina

Graphic image showing a photo of Karina wearing a green, round-neck top with white drawers in the background. Photo is set within a white frame and 'Karina' appears in purple text at the bottom. Set on a peach-coloured background, with a cartoon pair of arms with a camera pointing at Karina's photo and the LOOK blue star with 'MOTM!" written in white across the centre. All based on a bright yellow background.

Meet Karina

‘My name is Karina and I live in the West Midlands. I was born in Wolverhampton where I spent the first 13 years of my life before my parents moved to Coventry so that I could attend Exhall Grange School as I wasn’t achieving my full potential in the school I was attending. Whilst living in Wolverhampton I attended numerous activities outside of school including Brownies, Girl Guides and Sunday School. After moving to Coventry I became more involved in sports including goalball, athletics and swimming.

After leaving school I went to Coventry University where I achieved a degree in Business Information Technology. At that time I didn’t know what I wanted to do in terms of a career so chose to study something that would hopefully open up many avenues. Although I initially found it quite difficult to make friends at university and felt quite isolated, this changed when I became a Student Ambassador; a role which I thoroughly enjoyed and could do equally to my fully sighted peers.

Upon leaving university I was determined I wanted to work and to lead a life exactly the same as everyone else. Having applied for several jobs, I found myself in the same position as my peers; not having enough experience whilst not having the opportunity to work to gain the experience. It gradually dawned on me that my visual impairment may be having an impact on my ability to get a job which was fundamentally wrong…it hadn’t stopped me up until that point and I was determined it wasn’t going to! Since then I have worked for a programme supporting people with disabilities into employment and also in Adult Social Care.

Throughout my adult life I have encountered various challenges as a visually impaired person; some day-to-day practical challenges and some wrongs that needed putting right. In my early adulthood I chose not to strongly associate with the visually impaired community, however, through experience I began to value the benefit of interacting with people who understood things from my perspective.

I saw the LOOK Mentoring Scheme advertised on social media and it was something that immediately caught my interest. I wanted the opportunity to support other visually impaired people to find solutions to overcome any barriers they are experiencing and to demonstrate that success as a visually impaired person is possible despite the obstacles.

In addition to mentoring with LOOK I hold a number of Trustee positions, including with the Technology Association of Visually Impaired People, the National Federation of the Blind of the United Kingdom, and the European Guide Dog Federation.’

LOOK provides a free, tailored peer-mentoring service that connects VI young people with a trained VI mentor to offer advice, support and guidance on subjects such as school, Further & Higher Education, careers, opportunities and independent living, based on the mentor’s own experiences.

You can find out more about our mentoring service, here.