National Federation of the Blind Announces 2021 Scholarship Program Finalists

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National Federation of the Blind Announces 2021 Scholarship Program Finalists

Baltimore, Maryland (May 12, 2021): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for equal education of the blind, today announced the finalists for its annual scholarship program, which provides financial assistance and connects students with mentoring and other resources. The thirty scholarship finalists are listed below in alphabetical order with their home states and vocational goals:

  • Maryam Abdul Sattar, California: Social Worker/Advocate
  • Christopher Abel, Georgia: Financial Planner
  • Kaleigh Brendle, New Jersey: Disability Rights Attorney
  • Samantha Chase, Montana: Behavioral Health
  • Tashara Cooper, Florida: Modeling/Simulation
  • Shannon Donahue, Washington: Pediatric Mental Health Counselor
  • Lizzie Dunn, Michigan: Social Work
  • Christina Ebersohl, Illinois: Musician/Musical Education Advocate
  • Maya El Cheikh, New York: Law/Advocacy
  • Lucien Gandarias, Washington: Quantum Physics Researcher/Professor
  • Joel Gomez, California: Industrial Engineer
  • Michael Jaden Gretchokoff, Mississippi: Emergency Services Dispatcher
  • Manahil Jafri, New York: Public Policy/Disability Rights Advocate
  • Peter Jansen, Michigan: Medical Research
  • Adi Lemmon, Pennsylvania: Elementary Teacher
  • Eric Mandell, California: Physics
  • Haylee Mota, Rhode Island: Mechanical Engineer
  • Lizzy Muhammad-Park, Maryland: Foreign Service Officer
  • Demetria Ober, Texas: Social Work/Medical Interpretation
  • Treasa Marie Praino, New Jersey: Policy/Human Rights Advisor
  • Stephen Proski, Arizona: Visual Artist/Disability Arts Advocate
  • Tina Reisner, Utah: Cane Travel Instructor
  • Syed Mahmud Rizvi, Massachusetts: Civil Rights Attorney
  • Megan Swanson, California: Instructional Designer
  • Kinshuk Tella, Ohio: Environmental Professional
  • Sam Theoharis, New York: Civil Rights Law
  • Zachary Ryan Thibodeaux, Texas: Public Policy
  • Tanya Wigfall-Harrington, Pennsylvania: Disability Consultant
  • Mirranda Williams, Georgia: Geriatric Behavioral and Mental Health/Social Work
  • Chantale Zuzi, Massachusetts: Diplomacy, United Nations

“The scholarship program is one of our most important initiatives, and these blind students are facing and overcoming many barriers and challenges due to the pandemic and its impact on higher education,” said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We are therefore proud to honor these blind scholars, each of whom are raising expectations and expanding possibilities. The accomplishments of these outstanding students are proof that we, the blind of this nation, can live the lives we want; blindness does not hold us back.”

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind scholarship program, visit

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