Graduating Class #382

Class #382 graduated on January 26, 2014!

Graduating Class #382
We are proud to introduce the graduates, pictured from left. Deon Upshaw and Gypsy; Wesley Kevin Varden and Neeka; Veronica Hernandez and Nala; Robert Bracy and Halle; Yegue Badigue and Guinness; Richard Mero and Hasley; Theresa Klein and Henna; Kevin Morton and Jayla; and Juan Romero and Gunner.

Guide Dogs of America instructors, pictured standing, from left, are Class 382 lead instructor Bryan Young, apprentice instructor Chris Medina, and instructor Nick Terrones.

Watch the Class 382 graduation ceremony video!

Class 382 included students receiving their first guide dogs as well as students whom have had a guide dog previously. Following graduation, a few of the graduates shared how they think having a guide dog will change their lives or how having a guide dog has changed their lives.

Theresa Klein and Guide Dog HennaTheresa Klein and Guide Dog Henna“My hope is that having a guide dog will expand my world to where it was before it shrank with my loss of sight.”

Puppy Raisers: The King family
Harness Sponsor: The Buckley School
Student Travel Expenses Sponsor: Shirley A. Donoho


Robert Bracy and Guide Dog HalleRobert Bracy and Guide Dog Halle“Having a guide dog, to me, has been the greatest thing that has ever happened. It has totally enhanced my independence. I can go anywhere freely and know I will get there safely.”

Puppy Raisers: The Fujishige family
Puppy Sponsor: Deborah Wrinkle
Harness Sponsor: The Fujishige, Tatsuno, and Higashida families


Veronica Hernandez and Guide Dog HoneyVeronica Hernandez and Guide Dog Nala“It has given me the opportunity to travel safely and not be as afraid to get out and walk alone with just my four-legged best friend.”

Puppy Raisers: The Ramirez family
Harness Sponsor: Ann Tanke
Student Travel Expenses Sponsor : Ellen Zimmer


Kevin Morton and Guide Dog JaylaKevin Morton and Guide Dog Jayla“Three words that best describe my feelings about having a guide dog would be: Confidence, Independence and Freedom. I will be forever grateful to GDA for all of the support and encouragement from all of the staff, instructors, and everyone else involved in affording me this opportunity. I look forward to many wonderful years with my dog, Jayla.”

Puppy Raisers: Bob and Moira Wunderlich
Harness Sponsor: IAM Local 2503
Student Travel Expenses Sponsor: James Jatras


Deon Upshaw and Guide Dog GypsyDeon Upshaw and Guide Dog Gypsy

Puppy Raisers: The Cohen family
Harness Sponsor: Glyn Judson
Student Accommodations Sponsor: The Sharon D. Lund Foundation


Wesley Kevin Varden and Guide Dog NeekaWesley Kevin Varden and Guide Dog Neeka

Puppy Raisers: Tom and Judy Kovaric
Puppy Sponsor: The Kovaric family
Harness Sponsor: Minneapolis Elks Lodge #44


Yegue Badigue and Guide Dog GuinessYegue Badigue and Guide Dog Guinness

Puppy Raisers: The Miller family
Puppy Sponsor: Cathy Bartley
Harness Sponsor: San Gabriel Valley Puppy Raisers
Student Accommodations Sponsor: The Sharon D. Lund Foundation


Richard Mero and Guide Dog HasleyRichard Mero and Guide Dog Hasley

Puppy Raisers: Erhardt family
Guide Dog Team Sponsorship: Tania Finlayson


Juan Romero and Guide Dog GunnerJuan Romero and Guide Dog Gunner

Puppy Raisers: Jerry and Sydney Cain
Guide Dog Team Sponsorship: The Sharon D. Lund Foundation


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