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Seeing it Through - By Mike Lynch

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Seeing it Through

In early June, I received an email from a high school principal in central Massachusetts. He wrote to me about an extraordinary student athlete who thought I may consider for a High 5. I did some research and decided it was worth a visit. So we headed out Route 2 got off at exit 20 in Baldwinville and pulled into Narragansett Regional High School. We met a young man named Nate Rasch, who is not your ordinary high school student athlete.

Nate is extra-ordinary. We met him at baseball practice where Nate was the catcher for the baseball team. Nate is legally blind in his right eye and color blind in his left eye. "It's been that way my whole life, I've never seen a world with both eyes so its as natural as if I had full eyesight in both eyes," Nate explained to me. When Nate looks down to first base from his catchers position he can't see if a runner is stealing so he and his first baseman have a set of verbal signals worked out for each game. Nate told me his older brother had been training him as a catcher since he was 8 years old and that over time it has gotten easier for him. His coach told me Nate never uses his lack of vision as an excuse and that you'd never know it unless someone pointed it out.

Get this, in the fall Nate is the goalie on the soccer team and played on the Warriors basketball team in the winter. He jokes that his teammates always warn him if someone is coming from his blind side he doesn't get "truck sticked" (Nate told me that meant getting run over.) Nate's story gets better. He took all three Math SAT exams and came within two answers of a perfect score. He was selected the Valedictorian of his senior class AND just received a full four year scholarship to Duke in the fall. He couldn't believe he was accepted and he is over the moon with his financial package which obviously pleased mom and dad. Nate's had some unending support from his guidance counselor, his principal, teachers, coaches and friends and his gratitude is boundless.

Nate is a role model for his family and others in his school district. He's on his way to Duke, living his dream. Well done Nate and All the best!