Learn more about the students featured in THE EYES OF ME, and find out what they have been up to since filming ended.
“I wouldn’t wish my sight back, so many things in the world today that I don’t want to see.”
At age 10, Chas woke up blind after an operation to repair his sight. A hip-hop artist, he raps, “The only time I cried about being blind was the first night.” In THE EYES OF ME, Chas bristles for greater independence. At 17, he left his school’s dorms to live independently in his own apartment. His passion for creating music is his top priority. When he dropped out of school halfway through his senior year, his resolve to chart his own path was tested.
Since filming ended, Chas has been living in Austin and recording music as One2Cee. He and his girlfriend Ashley have a year-old son, Chas Jr. This year, One2Cee will release an album with songs featured in THE EYES OF ME, as well as new tracks.
“I was very shy … I didn’t say anything to anybody. People were talking to other people and I thought, why am I in this shell? Why am I not talking to people?”
At her old school, Denise’s classmates made fun of her cane and called her names. The shy 15-year-old, who was born with shortened nerves of the eye, had isolated herself and struggled with bouts of depression. At the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, she lived away from her supportive family for the first time and flourished, starring in the school play as Cinderella.
Denise now lives in Dallas with her mother and sister. She was excited to attend the Dallas premiere of THE EYES OF ME and says that the experience of being in the film gave her a lot of self-confidence.
“I know what it’s like to be sighted, and I know what it’s like to be blind. And I do think going blind has given me a different point of view.”
In the film, Isaac had been blind less than a year. When his retina detached after an accident at the age of 14, his uninsured grandparents could not afford emergency eye surgery, and one morning Isaac woke up blind. As a high-school freshman, he left his rural home in Paris, Texas to adjust to a new city, a new school, and a new life.
Isaac graduated from high school in Fort Worth, Texas in 2009. He has returned to Austin with Rolex, his guide dog, and is concentrating on gaining skills for living independently.
“People have actually come up to me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to feel my face to see what I look like?’ It’s like, ‘Hello, personal space.’”
Student council president and valedictorian of the senior class, Meagan had cancer of the retinas as a baby. Radiation treatments damaged her vision, which she lost completely by the age of 16. In THE EYES OF ME, Meagan focused on her future. As graduation approached, the high school valedictorian prepared for community college in the fall.
Since filming ended, Meagan has continued to take college courses while working full-time at the Texas School for the Blind. She was initially working as a substitute teacher but later accepted a position as resident advisor and now works with girls in the dorms. Meagan was excited to see the film, specifically because she barely remembers her graduation day: “It was all such a blur.”
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