Celebrate Outstanding Blind Students

Release Date

Celebrate Outstanding Blind Students

Baltimore, Maryland (May 11, 2023): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the transformative membership organization of blind Americans, today announced the finalists for its annual scholarship program, which provides financial assistance and connects students with blind mentors and other resources. The thirty scholarship finalists are listed below in alphabetical order with their home states or territories and vocational goals. Congratulations to these outstanding finalists:

  • Skylar Adad, California, Leadership Development
  • Mickayla Biddle, New Mexico, Teacher of Blind Students
  • Theresa Mendez-Booze, Oklahoma, International Health Advocate for Physical Activity and Disability
  • Felecia Bradford, Michigan, Social Work Technician
  • Noah Carver, Maine, Classically Trained Vocalist
  • Sara Folsom, Georgia, Biology
  • Mitchell Francis Ford, Virginia, Attorney
  • Jack Freeburg, South Dakota, Capital Compound Expert
  • Justin Harford, Oregon, Accountant
  • Ellen Harper, Michigan, Public Policy Attorney specializing in Disability Rights
  • Dan Hlavinka, Colorado, Social Work (End of Life Care) 
  • Roshunda Holt, Kansas, Operations Business Management
  • Tyler Hoppe, Maryland, Attorney and U.S Legislator
  • Marco Hurtado, Texas, Software Development
  • Joanne Kim, Pennsylvania, Environmental Protection
  • Trisha Kulkarni, Ohio, Educational Technology
  • Zachary Ledford, Utah, Sports Medicine
  • Maura Loberg, Nebraska, Mental Health Counselor
  • Nina Marranca, New York, Clinical Psychologist
  • Zach McLean, Washington, Sports and Leadership Management 
  • Ryan Menter, Maine, Lawyer
  • Ernest Emmanuel Peeples, Illinois, Advocate and Actor
  • Eric Rivera Gonzalez, San Juan, Puerto Rico, El Abogado y Defensor (Attorney and Advocate)
  • Ashleigh Rogers, Pennsylvania, Actuarial Science
  • Avery Sallean, North Carolina, Neuroscientist 
  • Athena Scopelite, California, Psychologist
  • Ammar Ahmed Tarin, Arizona, Immigration Attorney.
  • Tatyana Tolliver-Hughes, West Virginia, Civil Rights Lawyer 
  • Kamran Vora, TX, Medical Doctor; Bioethics Attorney 
  • Kahmile Whitby, United States, Autonomous Vehicles Designer

“The scholarship program is one example of how the organized blind movement builds a community of leaders,” said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “These finalists represent a broad range of interests and career goals, including the performing arts, the medical profession, autonomous vehicle design, and much more. We are proud to honor these blind scholars, each of whom are raising expectations and expanding possibilities. The accomplishments of these outstanding students are proof that the blind can achieve excellence and live the lives we want, and we will celebrate them as a community at our national convention.”

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind scholarship program, visit https://nfb.org/scholarships.

Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
410-659-9314, extension 2330
410-262-1281 (cell)