ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Shawn Makepeace doesn’t let being legally blind stop her from sharing her passion for animals with others.

Studying and teaching others about animals is something Makepeace wanted to do from a young age.

“I wanted to learn how dolphins communicated with each other using eco location, which kind of tied into my vision loss,” she said.

Makepeace went through years of schooling, including receiving her PhD in animal science because she wanted to apply her knowledge and passion.

“There was a point after I graduated with my PhD, I could not find a job,” Makepeace said. “Unfortunately, over 70 percent of blind, and legally blind individuals do not have a job.”

She stuck with it and last year became a volunteer at the Saint Louis Zoo before being hired this summer as an interpreter.

“I’ll get assigned to other areas of the zoo and I’ll teach about that certain animal,” said Makepeace.

Makepeace’s boss told News 4 she has been a great addition to the team. She also helps to zoo understand how they can give better directions or how to better interact with people who are visually impaired.

Shawn graduated from the Starkloff Career Academy in 2017. Click here for more information. 

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