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A legally blind student from Macquarie Fields has won the 2016 TAFE NSW South Western Sydney foundation skills award with a tertiary entrance score of 95 per cent.
Nathan Sharp left school at 13 due to poor sight. He did odd jobs for a living.
Nathan's vision continued to deteriorate and by 20 he was barely able to see past his nose. His future seemed bleak so he decided it something about it.
The turning point came when the disability pension saved over three years was invested in an eye operation.
After the operation Nathan had to avoid bright lights so he spent time recovering at home. The reclusive lifestyle diminished his confidence and he found it difficult to step outdoors.
Nathan overcame his fear by going walking for a couple of weeks.
"It changed me… the outings … helped …restore my confidence." He told the Macarthur Chronicle.
With improved eyesight Nathan, now 37, returned to his studies at TAFE NSW South Western Sydney where he completed Years 10, 11 and 12.
Nathan plans to go to university and study for a degree in Games Development.