DERREK LEE'S 1ST TOUCH FOUNDATION

ABOUT 1ST TOUCH

Mission Statement
The 1st Touch Foundation creates opportunities, positive change, and hope for our youth striving to overcome challenges beyond their control. From genetic disorders like LCA that cause blindness, to barriers preventing youth from achieving collegiate-level education, we are working every day to make the future brighter for our country's young people.

About 1st Touch Foundation
Dear Friends, my wife and I began the 1st Touch Foundation in 2005 as a vehicle to encourage and support the educational aspirations of our community’s young people.  We are passionate about promoting education – our initial vision was to build The 1st Touch Academic Youth Center in my hometown of Sacramento, California.

The past few years have continued to shape 1st Touch in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  In 2006 our daughter’s visual impairment was discovered and she was misdiagnosed with a rare blinding retinal disease called Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA).  We received the news of her misdiagnosis in 2008 and it has been a double blessing for our family.  Not only is our daughter going to maintain the vision she has, but through our journey we have become empowered to raise awareness for other families affected by LCA through 1st Touch and our Project 3000.  Her condition took us on an unexpected path that we are fully committed to.

Project 3000 is an initiative to identify and offer genetic testing to every person diagnosed with LCA.  The ultimate goal is to help researchers find a treatment and eventually a cure.  I am proud to say that Project 3000 is working.  So far we have found over 1200  people!

1st Touch Foundation continues to offer annual scholarships and specialized programs to our community’s students. 

Whether it is through education or the promise of ending LCA caused blindness, the future is bright and with your support, we will continue to make a difference.
Believe the Unseen.

Derrek L. Lee, Founder and President