Braille Monitor                                                 August/September 2010

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Meet the 2010 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Class

The 2010 scholarship class: Back Row: Kristin Mathe, Antônio Guimarăes, Yadiel Sotomayor, Mary Fernandez, Tara Tripathi, Zachary Brubaker, Cali Sandel, Alicia Betancourt, and Elizabeth Allred; Middle Row: Kayla Weathers, Josie Nielson, Tabea Meyer, Esha Mehta, Kirt Manwaring, Andrea Jenkins, Chris Jeckel, Shaun Reimers, Ashley Ritter, Sina Bahram, and Michelle Wesley; Front Row: Quintina Singleton, Sheri Anderson, Jessica Scannell, Deepa Goraya, Maria “Conchita” Hernandez, Rashi Goel, Kayleigh Joiner, Chelsea Cook, Melissa Lomax, and Carolyn “C. J.” FishFrom the Editor: With every passing year we recognize the increasing value of the National Federation of the Blind’s scholarship program to our national organization. Members of previous scholarship classes stream back to take part in convention activities and assume responsibility, doing anything that they can see needs to be done. Each year everyone looks forward to meeting the new scholarship class and to hearing what its members are doing now and planning to do with their lives in the future.

On Thursday evening, toward the close of the banquet, Anil Lewis came to the podium for the last time as chairman of the scholarship committee to present the year's winners and give an academic and personal sketch of each after announcing which scholarship he or she had been awarded. This year each winner crossed the platform and shook hands with President Maurer and Ray Kurzweil. In addition to his or her NFB scholarship, each also received a $1,000 check and plaque from the Kurzweil Foundation, a brand new knfb Reader Mobile, presented by Ray Kurzweil himself, and the latest Kurzweil 1000 reading system software from Kurzweil Educational Systems.

The final award was the Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship of $12,000, presented to C. J. Fish, who then spoke briefly to the audience. Her remarks appear later in this article.

But earlier in the week, at the meeting of the NFB board of directors, the twenty-six 2010 NFB scholarship winners and four tenBroek Fellows, who were receiving a second scholarship, came to the microphone and spoke directly to the Federation. Following is what they said about themselves. Each speaker was introduced by Anil, who announced the home and school states after each name.

Beth Allred, Colorado, Colorado: I was walking back to my room last night after an evening of convention activities and thinking to myself, "What has the NFB given me?" What comes to mind right away is confidence. I have the confidence to walk into an airport and say, "If you can just give me some directions, I don't need that wheelchair because I'm blind. I can walk there myself." The confidence is an inexpressible gift for me, and the NFB has given me that opportunity. The NFB has shown me a way towards a future I cannot wait to discover. I'm a master's student in vocal performance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and I plan to become a professional singer and voice teacher. I am deeply honored to be here today as a tenBroek Fellow. Thank you very much.

Sheri Anderson, Tennessee, Tennessee: Good morning, fellow Federationists. I have an idea for an organization that will change the world. This organization will build a winning team, raise funds, promote awareness to foster inclusive communities, and organize on the premise of service. It will ensure economic sufficiency and clearly differentiate between abilities and skill sets from that of entitlement and charity. By infusing a healthy spirit into each member, an opportunity-driven attitude is guaranteed. To discover how easy it is to gain commitment, build relationships, and obtain the full potential of this organization, look deep within yourself and reach for the hand of the person beside you. Then move forward with me into the future of the National Federation of the Blind.

Sina Bahram, North Carolina, North Carolina: Members of the committee, Dr. Maurer, Federationists, and other guests: I want to open by saying thank you. Thank you for the scholarship, of course, and for the trip out to Texas, but thank you for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. This is my first time at a Federation meeting, and I'm extremely honored. I'm especially thankful for all of the ways I've learned over the last couple of days to help out, and I'm especially looking forward to more ways to help out and to offer my service and learn from so many others. I think the real power of this organization is the people who understand the obstacles and struggles and also share the successes we've seen over the past seventy years. I look forward to the next seventy. Thank you very much.

Alicia Betancourt, Florida, Florida: Good morning to all, and thank you for allowing me to come to my first national convention of the NFB. Thank you for affording me a scholarship this year. I'm getting a master’s in social work, and what I plan to do with my degree is improve equality for people with disabilities to get a job so they can work alongside their sighted counterparts. I'm from a small town called Key West, Florida, and they're very closed minded about blindness. So every time I go home, I see people staring at me with my cane. (They call it my stick, but I call it my Cadillac.) So, when they look at me and ask me, "How do you do it?" I tell them, "I get my confidence and my backup from the NFB, and I can do whatever I want as long as I put my mind to it." Thank you so much.

Zakary Brubaker, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania: Good morning, everyone. My name is Zakary Brubaker from Pennsylvania. I will be attending Penn State University with a double major in physics and mathematics. First of all I'd like to start off by thanking President Maurer, the board, and the entire Federation for providing me with this wonderful honor, opportunity, and gift. When I speak about this gift that has been given to me, I'm not only speaking about the scholarship, for which I am truly grateful, I'm speaking about the gift of the Federation. Before discovering the NFB, my support was limited to two great parents and a handful of exceptional teachers. Now I've discovered this organization that tunes out the naysayers of the world who say, "No you can't," and "You will never," and says, "Yes we can," and "We will." I realize today that this isn't the end of my journey. I see the road in front of me, and I will continue to put one foot in front of the other to work towards progress, knowing that I have a life of service ahead of me. I just want to thank you, and God bless.

Chelsea Cook, Virginia, Virginia: Thank you and good morning, everybody. I am going to the great university known as Virginia Tech, and I will be majoring in physics with minors in astronomy and creative writing. I hope to take those to the front doors of NASA and say, "Look, it doesn't matter what the flight surgeons say, I'm going into space one day." Gene Kranz, the famed flight director of Apollo 13, once said that "Anything is possible if we will just commit." I am committed to learning. I am committed to my mentors, my friends, and my goals in the Federation. I'm committed to giving back. Thank you for this opportunity.

Mary Fernandez, New Jersey, Georgia: Good morning, everyone. I want to start by thanking my Federation family for giving me this opportunity. My heart is in my mouth right now, and I'm really nervous. I am a junior at Emory University studying psychology and music. I just want to say thank you. My mentor asked me this morning, "Why did you apply for this scholarship?" I said, "Because out of every scholarship that I have won, this has meant the most to me.” This scholarship is one where I know that I'm on even ground with all of these wonderful people and that it's not because I'm blind and going to school that I'm getting it, but because you see something in me that I can offer and I'm willing to offer it. Our current president said, "Greatness is not a given; it must be earned." I may not be great right now, but I strive to be great, and I know everyone in this room strives to be great. I know that we are changing what it means to be blind, and I know I'm going to drive in my lifetime. I really don't know how to thank you for giving me the confidence and independence that you have. Thank you so much.

C. J. Fish, Virginia, Virginia: Good morning. I'm studying at Marymount University pursuing a master's in mental health counseling. I just want to say that I'm truly humbled, honored, and blessed to stand before you as a tenBroek Fellow. My experiences have brought me into a family and a support network. I've been challenged to grow in ways that I never thought I could. I see blindness as a strength and an asset. I search for the good in all people and situations. I strive to live my life as an example for others, and to change society's view of blindness. one person at a time. Remember that you as individuals can make a difference, one person at a time, as well. There is always a way. Never ever give up. There is always hope for tomorrow. Thank you so much for this opportunity, and enjoy convention.

Rashi Goel, Georgia, Georgia: Good morning, everyone. My name is Rashi Goel, and I am so unbelievably thrilled and honored to be here today. I am currently a sophomore at Georgia Tech, and I'm majoring in environmental engineering. As a pragmatic idealist who has a lot of faith in humanity, I consider myself a community-minded activist, possessing the heart, intensity, and capabilities of fulfilling my dream to change the world. Therefore I want to help, to work for Engineers without Borders, an international organization that seeks to assist developing countries with various sustainable engineering projects. I have been involved with the NFB for the past two years and have really enjoyed the wonderful friends and opportunities with which it has provided me. As a person who approaches every situation with a positive attitude and an eagerness to listen and learn from others, opportunities such as this convention have allowed me to recognize the role models that surround me and realize that determination and perseverance are key to overcoming any difficulties. Thank you.

Deepa Goraya, California, Michigan: Good morning, everyone. I want to start out by thanking the scholarship committee and my NFB family for selecting me to get this scholarship. I can't thank you enough. I want to say that I go to the University of Michigan law school, and I'm going into my second year. I also have the wonderful opportunity to intern in the White House for Kareem Dale. I just want to tell a quick story. When I was younger, my family would host religious events at my local Sikh temple (I'm Indian, and my religion is Sikh). At these functions I was always shoved aside into a corner and not allowed to help in the kitchen. My family would help cook meals for these functions, and I didn't know how to cook. My mom never showed me because she was too afraid. Then I discovered the NFB, and I realized that I was needed. I was needed by my local student division; I was needed by my local chapter; I was needed by the National Center to be a leader, which is helping me to be a better leader by selecting me for NFB Leadership Seminars. All of a sudden I discovered this great opportunity to be a significant member of society. Then I went to the Louisiana Center for the Blind and finally learned to cook. I'm now proud to say that, when I'm at these religious functions, I no longer allow myself to be shoved aside into a corner but stand alongside my younger siblings and my cousins, and I really show people what it means to be blind. Thank you.

Antônio Guimarães, Rhode Island, Rhode Island: I attend college at Western Governor's University, and I plan to make my life in the teaching career, first as a high school teacher. I'd like to say that each of you must have a passion, and I invite you to join me in achieving our goals and dreams and in building a life that is rich and full.

Conchita Hernandez, Nebraska, Nebraska: Buenos Dias, good morning, Federation family, board, Dr. Maurer. I will be attending Louisiana Tech University this fall to be a teacher of blind students. I could talk a lot about the Federation as I did last night, but we don't want me to get teary again, so I will say that the Federation has provided me with a family to come to, laugh with, and cry with. The quote that I used last night was by Salvador Allende, and he said, "To be a student and not be a revolutionary is a contradiction." Even if we are not all students, we are all revolutionizing what it means to be blind with the help of the Federation, whether we're parents of blind students, teachers, or scientists. I want to thank the Federation for giving me this opportunity. This is my third convention. My first one was here in Dallas, so it's great to be here again, and I thank you all so much. Enjoy the convention.

Chris Jeckel, Illinois, Illinois: Good morning, everyone. My name is Chris Jeckel, and I'm a second-year law student at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. I would like to start off by saying thank you to the scholarship committee for their investment in my future. I won't let you down! I was moved yesterday when listening to the resolutions to hear the committee outline thorny issues the blind community faces on a daily basis and then to hammer out the words to address those issues. It was powerful. I'm very grateful to be here, I'm learning a lot, and I'm just happy. Thank you very much.

Andrea Jenkins, Georgia, Georgia: Good morning, everyone. I'm currently a sophomore at Valdosta State University, majoring in Spanish and minoring in French. I'm also a graduate of the Louisiana Center for the Blind. My goal is to be a Spanish / French translator and a missionary. I just want to thank everyone here, including the scholarship committee, for allowing me such a wonderful privilege. It's truly a blessing and an honor, and I'm just going to take the philosophy that I embrace so dearly and everything I have learned and change what it means to be blind.

Kayleigh Joiner, Texas, Texas: Good morning. I would like first to thank the scholarship committee and Dr. Maurer for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I am extremely honored to be here. I will be a freshman attending Stephen F. Austin University, where I will get my bachelor's in elementary education. After that it is my plan to go to Louisiana Tech University, where I will get my master's in becoming a teacher of blind students and an orientation and mobility instructor. The NFB has taught me that it is respectable to be blind and that blind people can go into careers such as science, technology, engineering, and math and that their blindness is not a limiting factor. I have a painting in my room that says, "One candle may light a thousand." I hope to be that one candle for future generations of blind students. Thank you.

Melissa Lomax, New Jersey, Maryland: Good morning, fellow Federationists. It's an honor to be here today. I'm very grateful to win this scholarship and to know that there are people here that support what I want to do and in turn can support all the people that I hope to be helping in the future. For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed helping people in any way that I can, and I still do that today in my school and in my local, state, and national Federation communities. I presently attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I'm a sophomore pursuing an English literature major, English writing minor, and a secondary education certificate. Becoming a teacher is one of the things I've always wanted to be because with my dedication and love for writing, I hope to give my students a great quality education and to better their future because I feel writing is essential in any profession our students may want to pursue. I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.

Kirt Manwaring, Utah, Utah: Good morning, Federationists. My name is Kirt Manwaring. I will attend Brigham Young University next fall as a freshman studying political science and philosophy with an eye toward law school. Now it was Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian statesman, who famously said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I promise you, scholarship committee, board, and fellow Federationists, that I will do everything I can to be that change and to show the community that it is respectable to be blind. Thank you.

Kristin Mathe, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania: Dr. Maurer, members of the board, fellow Federationists: I am not the first, and for that I thank you--because I have not had to blaze this trail alone and have not had to walk alone as the only blind person ever to get an advanced degree. That is a good thing. I will not be the last--and that is a better thing! It is because of all of you that I am able to pursue a PhD in rhetoric and public address, coach collegiate debate, and teach public speaking. I will be a professor; I will do research to understand better how movements such as ours can continue to change people's minds about a variety of issues. As I go forward, I keep in mind that there are those who will come after. I would like that road to be even smoother for those who follow. Thank you.

Esha Mehta, Pennsylvania, Colorado: Good morning, Federation family, and what a family you guys have been to me the last year. I became a member of the Federation when I walked through the doors of the Colorado Center for the Blind, and that is when I began my journey. I've grown up in a culture where blindness is not accepted and it is considered one of the worst things that could ever happen to you. Because of my training at the Center and because of the support from all of you, this is not the case for me anymore. I know that I can change the world through my dream of becoming a teacher of the blind and visually impaired. Not only do I want to change the world here in the United States, but I want to help open up a center in India so that those children can have the same future that I am starting to have here. Through the Center I've gained two gifts: one is the gift of literacy. Before I came to the Center, I did not know Braille, and now I can stand before you reading my notes in Braille. It's because of the wonderful people in this Federation and the teachers that I have had at the Center to help me do this. I learned that Braille is an amazing gift, and I want to share that with all of the students that I get to teach. It is said that to be a teacher is to touch your students’ lives forever, and I hope to do that internationally and especially here in the United States. Thank you to the board and my fellow Federationists for supporting my dreams.

Tabea Meyer, Indiana, Indiana: Good morning. My name is Tabea Meyer, and it is so wonderful to be here today with all of you. This is my first convention, and I'm honored to be here at this wonderful meeting. I'm so grateful for the confidence the scholarship committee has placed in me, believing that I can be successful. I'm going to do everything I can to achieve excellence in everything I do, and I thank you so much. I would like to share a story. I was born in Kassel, Germany, and there independence wasn't something that was encouraged for blind people; it was covered up. When I came to the United States as a second grader, the NFB was very active in helping my family prevail in a court trial in which our school was not willing to allow me and my two siblings to attend. I'm so grateful the NFB had a place in my life even then, and over the past few years I've lost touch with this organization, but now I'm here and just learning about the philosophy that you guys hold dear. I'm so thrilled to know that innately I've been striving for those same things to be true in my life as I grow in independence. I am so thrilled to know that there are incredible heights which now I can attain, and to have the incredible support of all of you. Thank you very much.

Josie Nielson, Idaho, Idaho: Welcome, everyone. I'm Josie Nielson. I'm so grateful to be here. I am going to be a sophomore at Brigham Young University in Utah this next fall. I'm a violin performance major, and I want to write my master's thesis on developing a new method for teaching blind musicians music. I came to the convention very excited, but I did have questions--a lot of questions. I know I'm not alone when I say that I was struggling to know when it was a good time to be using a cane. I do not have sight, but I'm not completely blind as of yet. I have met some wonderful friends over the course of these few days who have helped me understand and realize the importance of using a cane. I want to thank those people sincerely for your support, and I want to tell you proudly that I walk away from this convention with a cane in my hand and with tools that will help me succeed. Thank you so much.

Shaun Reimers, Utah, Utah: Hey everyone, my name is Shaun Reimers, and I'm going to be studying law at the University of Utah starting next month. I plan to work hard while I'm in school, and, after I'm done, I hope to get a great job. What motivates me most is the desire to be a good husband and father, a working citizen of the United States, and a contributing member to the Federation. Even before I applied for the scholarship, I planned to be a lifelong member of the Federation. The philosophy of the NFB is the only real option for addressing the issues blind people face--it's the only real answer we have for gaining independence. For better or for worse the NFB is stuck with me for life, and I hope, as a family, that we can accomplish great things together. Thank you.

Ashley Ritter, Indiana, Indiana: Good morning. I'm going to be a sophomore this fall at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. I am majoring in secondary English education with a minor in education policy. After my bachelor's my plan is to get my master's in teaching blind students, and after a few years of teaching I plan to make my way into the government in education policy, writing, revising, and improving the education system of America. Six years ago I was introduced to the NFB, and I was just getting out of eighth grade. I was very timid and shy, and I wouldn't even admit to myself that I was blind, let alone anyone else around me. The help I got is something I can never pay back, but I'm ready to pay it forward, and I thank you so much for this opportunity.

Cali Sandel, South Carolina, South Carolina: Good morning, fellow Federationists. Once again I'm Cali Sandel. I'm currently pursuing a master's in public administration at Clemson University. I am so very blessed and honored to come before you as a tenBroek Fellow. It's been a fun ride, and since my very first convention in 2006, I have served as a student division president for the state of South Carolina, am currently on the board of directors, and am helping to ensure Braille literacy in South Carolina. I'd like to share a short story. On Father's Day weekend my granddad said that at his high school graduation the principal said that George Washington would've been more at home 2000 years before his time than in our current society with current technology and the way things run, but the blind community is not like that. I would like to think that the founding fathers would be very comfortable with us here today and that they would be glad and proud of the movement and how far it's come. We don't always get to reap the fruits of our labor, but I'm so very optimistic and excited to keep pursuing the road we're traveling, and I'm so glad everybody's here with me. Thank you.

Jessica Scannell, New Jersey, New Jersey: Thank you, Mr. Lewis. Good morning fellow Federationists, scholarship committee, and esteemed guests. My name is Jessica Scannell. I am a senior attending Montclair State University. I live in New Jersey. My major is education with kindergarten to fifth grade as my concentration. I would like to be a teacher of the blind when I graduate. I am currently holding a position as secretary for the NFB Northeast Chapter of New Jersey. I am honored and thrilled to be a national scholarship winner. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity and have a wonderful convention.

Quintina Singleton, New Jersey, New York: Good morning, fellow Federationists. I would like to begin by sincerely thanking the scholarship committee for selecting me to be a finalist. I certainly recognize in addition to being a prestigious award that this scholarship is really a generous contribution toward my future, and I'm very grateful for it. I'm the secretary for the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey, and I'm also the producer of the Internet program Through Our Eyes with Joe Ruffalo. In September I'll be starting graduate school at New York University, working towards my master's degree in both childhood and special education. One of my main objectives as an instructor of children with special needs is to help my students discover for themselves that challenges should never be allowed to stand in the way of success. Thank you.

Yadiel Sotomayor, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico: Good morning, fellow Federationists, and happy birthday NFB for your seventieth year. I'm starting a double major at the University of Puerto Rico in translation and English education. I can summarize the philosophy of the Federation in three words: independence, equality, and support. Independence means that everybody in the Federation has helped me a lot because they have converted me from a shy person into an active member of society, and I know it has done the same for all of you. Equality is what we're all fighting for. Finally, support – because, if there is something a blind person wants to do, I know that he will have every member behind him and supporting him.

Tara Tripathi, Florida, Florida: Good morning, fellow Federationists. I'm from Orlando, Florida, a wonderful place where you all will be next year. I'm doing my PhD program in text and technology at the University of Central Florida. Hopefully some of you will come to visit when you're there next year. I want to say thank you to all of you, especially our leaders, who made this scholarship possible. I feel a profound sense of honor and elation. I thank you for the recognition and the riches you have bestowed on us. When you walk on a sidewalk, which may be a path to progress, there are three kinds of reactions possible when you encounter a rock. The first is that you feel the rock with your cane, weave around a bit, walk around it, forget about it, and go wherever you're going. The second possible reaction is that you feel it with the cane, beat the rock because you are angry and maybe use some language I will not use here, and then you continue to move ahead. The third reaction is to try to remove it so the people who come next will not trip on it. I salute that third group of people, for these are the kind of leaders NFB has, and these are the people who have selected us. I want to be one of them, and I hope that the recognition that has been given to me will give me enough confidence to be able to do precisely that--to remove the roadblocks from the path of progress by the blind throughout the world. In my PhD dissertation I am trying to propose universal design for all kinds of consumer goods for classrooms, electronic spaces, and Websites. Universal design asks for access for everyone, so no segregation is tolerated by true leaders. Dr. tenBroek, Dr. Jernigan, and Dr. Maurer, and a lot of you sitting in the audience will tolerate no discrimination for blind people. Segregation has, however, come back in a new way in the field of technology. We are increasingly using touchscreens, and the manufacturers ignore us. Universal design dictates that that go away. In my dissertation I will argue in favor of that. As Dr. Maurer was saying at the beginning of this meeting, we banned smoking, and now the rest of the country has followed. I will argue that the way we access our books using speech, sighted people are now doing with their own audio books. I thank you all for this wonderful opportunity to speak to all of you.

Kayla Weathers, Georgia, Georgia: Good morning. As Anil said, my name is Kayla Weathers, and I'm from Georgia. It's truly an honor to be here today. I will be a freshman in the fall at Dalton State College, and I would like to get my bachelor's degree in special education and my master's degree in teaching blind students. Many times when blind people ask me what I want to do and I tell them I want to teach blind students, it's because I want to be a mentor to them. I didn't have a lot of mentors who were blind when I was growing up, and I'd just like to empower my students with the Federation's philosophy that they can achieve their dreams and change what it means to be blind. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

Michelle Wesley, Illinois, Illinois: Hello, everyone. I am number thirty, and I've been told to keep it short and sweet, so I will. Thank you for staying around, and thank you, scholarship committee, for choosing me. I am going into my first year of veterinary medicine at the University of Illinois, so all of you guide dog users, please consider telling your friends to get a dog because I want to specialize in working with service animals in orthopedics and rehab. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you, and again, thank you so much for having me.

There you have the scholarship class of 2010. On Thursday evening, July 8, master of ceremonies Fred Schroeder called Anil Lewis to the platform to present the 2010 scholarships. At the close of that presentation scholarship winner and tenBroek Fellow C. J. Fish came to the podium to address the banquet audience as the winner of the $12,000 Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship, presented by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. Because of time constraints her remarks were abbreviated, but this is what she planned to say:

C. J. Fish addresses the banquet audience.I stand before you, truly honored and humbled to accept this award and all that it signifies, all that it means. I'd like to say thank you to so many: first the scholarship committee for all that they have done for us from the beginning--going through all the applications, putting in so many hours, then turning around and dedicating themselves to sharing themselves, teaching us, showing us how to be leaders, telling us about their lives, and giving us advice--all of these things. I also want to thank the scholarship class for all of the friendship and warmth that you have extended to me. It has truly been a blessing to get to know each and every one of you, and you have been an inspiration to me. To my family: my husband for the love and support he has given me through good and bad, in sickness and in health, as he promised me on our wedding day just over a year ago. Next, to my parents who have loved, nurtured, and supported me throughout my life and helped me become who I am today. Finally, to my NFB family, who has nurtured me, strengthened me, challenged me, and pushed me to be more than I ever thought I could be and showed me I could go beyond all that I have ever dreamed that I could become. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When I became blind at the age of three, my parents say that at first I refused to do anything. I was frustrated and angry at what had happened to me. One day I woke up and was ready to go. I was determined to do all of the things I had done before losing my sight. I have maintained that attitude since, insisting that there is always a way. We just have to be creative and determined, and we will find it.

As a six-time cancer survivor, I have learned many truths about life. There will always be times when we want to give up; there will always be obstacles and challenges to face. What matters most is what we choose to do with them. Do not fear, and never give up. Hold on to your hope. For what is hope without perseverance? What is perseverance without courage? What is courage without support? And for us, what is support without our NFB family? So you see, the foundation of our hope for a better future lies in our support of each other. NFB class of 2010, we are the leaders of tomorrow, and we must never forget these truths.

We have been tried by fire. When we face that fire, we have a choice: we can run away and hide, or we can face the heat. This NFB family has taught me to face the heat and become all the better for it. I want to leave you with a challenge that there is always hope for tomorrow. Find a way, conquer, and succeed! Thank you so much.

Here is the complete list of 2010 scholarship winners and the awards they received:

$3,000 National Federation of the Blind Scholarships: Alicia Betancourt, Rashi Goel, Deepinder “Deepa” Goraya, Christopher Jeckel, Andrea Jenkins, Kirt Manwaring, Esha Mehta, Josie Nielson, Ashley Ritter, Jessica Scannell, Quintina Singleton, Tara Prakash Tripathi, and Kayla Weathers
$3,000 National Federation of the Blind Educator of Tomorrow Award: Kristin Mathe
$3,000 NFB Computer Science Scholarship: Sina Bahram
$3,000 Hermione Grant Calhoun Scholarship: Elizabeth “Beth” Allred
$3,000 Kuchler-Killian Memorial Scholarship: Antônio Guimarães
$3,000 Lawrence Kettner Scholarship: Diane Graves
$3,000 Charles and Melva T. Owen Scholarship: Chelsea Cook
$3,000 Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship: Shaun Reimers
$3,000 Michael Marucci Memorial Scholarship: Yadiel Sotomayor
$3,000 E. U. Parker Scholarship: Kayleigh Joiner
$3,000 Guide Dogs for the Blind Dorthea and Roland Bohde Leadership Scholarship: Sharin Duffy
$3,000 Jeannette C. Eyerly Memorial Scholarship: Melissa Lomax
$5,000 Hank LeBonne Scholarship: Sheri Anderson
$5,000 National Federation of the Blind Scholarships: Maria “Conchita” Hernandez, Tabea Meyer, and Cali Sandel
$7,000 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship: Michelle Wesley
$7,000 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship: Zachary Brubaker
$10,000 Charles and Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship: Mary Fernandez
$12,000 Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship (donated by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults): C. J. Fish

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