Jess Marion is a highly experienced, and legally blind, trainer, author, coach, advocate, and athlete. Born and raised in the Philadelphia Area, she currently lives in New York City. Jess has never let her physical eyesight stop her from realizing her inner vision for a bright future.
Jess was born completely blind due to Congenital Cataracts. While the cataracts were removed, their impacts left Jess with severely impaired vision due to the development of 2 rare disorders: Nystagmus, and Deprivation Amblyopia. She is currently legally blind with 5% vision. Jess constantly sees the difficulties posed by low vision as mental limitations to push beyond, providing opportunities to grow. Jess invites her clients, students, and audiences to move beyond their own limitations by realizing those limitations exist only in the mind, providing an opportunity for transformation and growth.
Jess holds 2 degrees including an M.A. from Temple University and has completed doctoral work in Cultural Anthropology. She spent 7 years as an adjunct professor at Temple before leaving academia to pursue her career as a coach and hypnotist. Jess has an international clientele for whom she helps reduce stress, let go of unwanted behaviors, work through life changes, and master the inner game. When not working with individuals she is busy training social workers, doctors, and business professionals in hypnosis, coaching, and presentation skills. Jess presents at multiple conferences throughout the year and has authored (and co-authored) 10 books and 16 online training programs in her field.
Advocacy and education are important to Jess so in her free time she is a regular contributor on TheMighty.com writing about blindness and related topics. By giving voice to the visually impaired experience she hopes to help create a more inclusive society.
Throughout Jess’s life she has been told she couldn’t achieve her goals because of her eyesight. Her response has always been, “watch me”. As a young adult, that meant becoming a soloist in her local ballet company and winning dance scholarships. That also meant achieving academic excellence through the graduate level and living in India while conducting research in Medical Anthropology. In 2017 she embraced this ethos again when she began training in CrossFit with the goal to compete in Spartan obstacle races. Despite the difficulties her sight poses, both in the gym and on the race course, Jess meets each challenge with mental toughness and a sense of fun. She inspires others to have the same attitude and achieve their dreams in the face of adversity.
Jess lives a life where her blindness is a part of her experience, but does not limit the totality of who she is, and who she becomes. She wants those who she meets to understand that they are so much greater than the labels they give themselves, so that they can start living the life they want.