[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Recognizes Thirty Outstanding Blind Students

Morey, Kristian KMorey at nfb.org
Thu Jul 21 02:42:40 UTC 2016


Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Recognizes Thirty Outstanding Blind Students

Maria "Conchita" Hernandez of Washington, DC, Awarded $12,000 Scholarship

Baltimore, Maryland (July 20, 2016): The National Federation of the 
Blind (NFB), the nation's oldest and largest organization of blind 
people, today announced the winners of its 2016 scholarships, which 
were awarded at the organization's recent national convention in 
Orlando. The winner of the organization's top prize of $12,000, 
donated by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, 
was Maria "Conchita" Hernandez of Washington, DC, a doctoral 
candidate who is pursuing research on reading media assessments. The 
other winners are listed below in alphabetical order with their home 
states, vocational goals, and scholarship awards where applicable. 
Unless otherwise indicated, each received a National Federation of 
the Blind Scholarship in the amount of $3,000.

Tara Abella, IN: Elementary/Special Education Teacher
Justine "JJ" Aragon, CO: Rehabilitation Counseling
Deniz Aydemir-Doke, PA: Higher Education
Samrawit Biyazin, OR: Certified Public Accountant ($3,000 Charles & 
Betty Allen Scholarship)
Megan Borella, CA: Business or Information Systems ($3,000 Expedia Scholarship)
Riki Danielle Burton, KY: Teaching Blind Students
Brennan Carman, NY: Medical Research ($5,000 National Federation of 
the Blind Scholarship)
Merry-Noel Chamberlain, NE: Higher Education ($3,000 Charles & Melva 
T. Owen Memorial Scholarship)
Nathan Clark, MD: Juvenile Probation Officer
Elif Emir Oksuz, OH: Mental Health Counselor ($5,000 Pearson Scholarship)
Laura Etori, NJ: Actuary ($8,000 Oracle Scholarship for Excellence in 
a STEM Field)
Jameyanne Fuller, NH: Law ($5,000 Mimi & Marvin Sandler Scholarship)
Deanna Greco, NJ: Brain Research
Nazanin Heydarian, TX: Medical Research
Sharon Jose, VA: Computer Science Engineer ($3,000 Adrienne Asch 
Memorial Scholarship)
Matthew Miller, IL: Actuary
James Garret Mooney, AZ: Law ($3,000 E. U. & Gene Parker Scholarship)
Kathryn Olsen, IA: Physical Therapist
Chelsea Page, LA: Blind Instruction and Early Intervention
Precious Perez, MA: Professional Performer/Music Educator ($5,000 
Larry Streeter Memorial Scholarship)
Donna Posont, MI: Naturalist
Syed Rizvi, MA: Health Informatics and Data Analytics ($8,000 Oracle 
Scholarship for Excellence in Computer Science)
Joe Rowell, MA: Public Interest Law
Kartik Sawhney, CA: Software Development ($3,000 Expedia Scholarship)
Kennedy Stomberg, MN: Research
Corgan Waters, TN: Pathology
Kathryn Webster, CT: Actuarial Science Consulting ($10,000 Charles & 
Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship)
Kassidy Wilde, UT: Psychology ($3,000 NFB Science and Engineering 
Division Scholarship)
Johna Wright, GA: Blind Education

"The scholarship program is one of our most important initiatives," 
said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the 
Blind. "We are proud to honor these blind scholars, who are studying 
everything from elementary education to software development, and in 
so doing raising the expectations of what blind people can achieve. 
Their accomplishments are proof of our conviction that we, the blind 
of this nation, can live the lives we want; blindness does not hold us back."

Several hundred students competed for the NFB scholarships. A 
committee of blind persons representing a cross section of the NFB 
membership, including several former scholarship winners, narrowed 
the field to thirty finalists. Each finalist was then given roundtrip 
transportation, hotel accommodations, and assistance to attend the 
NFB convention in Orlando, where the committee spent several days 
getting to know each student. Only after that process was complete 
did the committee decide which scholarship to award each finalist. 
Nearly three thousand blind people attended the convention, the 
largest gathering of its kind in the United States this year.

In addition to the NFB scholarship, each of the thirty winners 
received a $1,000 check and plaque from Ray Kurzweil, a Google 
Chromebook laptop, a $1,000 cash award from Google, and a certificate 
towards the purchase of a Talking LabQuest from Independence Science.


About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the 
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise 
the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create 
obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life 
you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

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