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NFB 2016 Scholarship Program

National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people, today announced the finalists for its 2016 Scholarship Program, which awards thirty scholarships each year to recognize achievement by blind scholars. The students are listed below in alphabetical order with their home states and vocational goals.

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
Megan Borella, CA: Business or Information Systems
Riki Danielle Burton, KY: Teaching Blind Students
Brennan Carman, NY: Medical Research
Merry-Noel Chamberlain, NE: Higher Education
Nathan Clark, MD: Juvenile Probation Officer
Elif Emir Oksuz, OH: Mental Health Counselor
Laura Etori, NJ: Actuary
Jameyanne Fuller, NH: Law
Deanna Greco, NJ: Brain Research
Maria “Conchita” Hernandez, DC: Research
Nazanin Heydarian, TX: Medical Research
Sharon Jose, VA: Computer Science Engineer
Matthew Miller, IL: Actuary
James Garret Mooney, AZ: Law
Kathryn Olsen, IA: Physical Therapist
Chelsea Page, LA: Blind Instruction and Early Intervention
Precious Perez, MA: Professional Performer/Music Educator
Donna Posont, MI: Naturalist
Syed Rizvi, MA: Health Informatics and Data Analytics
Joe Dexter Rowell, MA: Public Interest Law
Kartik Sawhney, CA: Software Development
Kennedy Stomberg, MN: Research
Corgan Waters, TN: Pathology
Kathryn Webster, CT: Actuarial Science Consulting
Kassidy Wilde, UT: Psychology
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.”

Each finalist will attend the NFB’s seventy-sixth annual national convention, beginning June 30, in Orlando, Florida, where the Scholarship Committee will spend several days getting to know each student and then decide which scholarship (ranging in value from $3,000 to $12,000) to award each of them. The scholarship winners will then be announced at the banquet of the NFB National Convention on Tuesday, July 5.

For more information on the National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program, visit www.nfb.org/scholarships.

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