Visual Impairment Doesn't Deter Shrewsbury's Jen Tylock

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Jen Tylock has received the Outstanding Youth of Shrewsbury Awards from Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services. Photo Credit: Joyce Maranto of Maranto Studios

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — This is the last of a four-part series on students from Shrewsbury schools who are receiving Outstanding Youth of Shrewsbury Awards from Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services.

Shrewsbury High School senior Jennifer Tylock has not let her visual impairment keep her from achieving academically, athletically, musically and more. She has been described as "an amazing young woman” by her guidance counselor, Jessica Rice.

"Not only has she made her mark academically, she also stands out as an athlete, leader and humanitarian,” Rice said.

Jen has faced many challenges since she was  diagnosed with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy, a rare genetic disorder that causes loss of vision, when she was in the eighth grade. Though she is legally blind, [but this has not hindered her in any way. Academically,] Jen takes a rigorous course load and has a 4.94 GPA.

Jen is a runner and pole vaulter who was elected captain of the girls track team and participated in the summer leadership program.  She qualified for and competed in the New England Championships in pole vault.

In addition to academics and athletics, Jen volunteers in the Children’s Room at the Shrewsbury Public Library and works with teams in the Destination Imagination program. She was selected last year from a nationwide pool of students to travel to Cambodia to do volunteer work with the U.S. State Department.

To add a little fun to her life, Jen has also attended a circus camp. She can play the French horn, juggle, ride on a unicycle and even walk a tightrope.

“Jen is a quiet champion, is fearless, and has a huge heart,” said Rice.

She wants to study engineering in college and join the Peace Corps after college.

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