Release Date: 
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Announces 2010 Scholarship Program Winners

Baltimore, Maryland (May 12, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people, today announced the winners of its 2010 Scholarship Program, which awards thirty scholarships each year to recognize achievement by blind scholars.  The winners are listed below in alphabetical order with their home states and vocational goals:

  • Beth Allred, CO: professional vocalist and music teacher
  • Sheri Anderson, TN: emergency management professional
  • Sina Bahram, NC: computer-science technologist and entrepreneur
  • Alicia Betancourt, FL: social worker for disabled persons
  • Zachary Brubaker, PA: high school teacher of math and physics
  • Chelsea Cook, VA: astronaut or astrophysicist or physicist
  • Mary Fernandez, NJ: clinical psychologist
  • C. J. Fish, VA: mental health counselor
  • Rashi Goel, GA: environmental engineer
  • Deepa Goraya, CA: attorney—disability rights and civil rights legislation specialist
  • Antonio Guimaraes, RI: social studies teacher, grades 5–12
  • Maria Hernandez, NE: classroom or itinerant teacher of blind students
  • Chris Jeckel, IL: attorney
  • Andrea Jenkins, GA: Spanish translator and interpreter
  • Kayleigh Joiner, TX: elementary school teacher
  • Melissa Lomax, NJ: high school English teacher
  • Kirt Manwaring, UT: attorney
  • Kristin Mathe, PA: professor of rhetoric (communication)
  • Esha Mehta, CO: elementary school teacher
  • Tabea Meyer, IN: social worker for children in school or foster care
  • Josie Nielson, ID: violin soloist—performer and recording artist
  • Shaun Reimers, UT: attorney and community activist
  • Ashley Ritter, IN: teacher of blind children
  • Cali Sandel, SC: federal program administrator, Washington, D.C.
  • Jessica Scannell, NJ: teacher of blind children, birth through junior high
  • Quintina Singleton, NJ: teacher, special education classroom
  • Yadiel Sotomayor, PR: English/Spanish translator or English teacher
  • Tara Prakash Tripathi, FL: teacher of access technology and active advocate
  • Kayla Weathers, GA: special education teacher for blind and visually impaired students
  • Michelle Wesley, IL: veterinarian

“These students represent academic excellence, and many of them are doubtless future leaders of this nation’s blind,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.  “They are forging a path in disciplines as varied as astrophysics, computer science, social work, law, and psychology.  They are proof of our conviction that we, the blind of this nation, can compete on terms of equality with our sighted peers, and we are very proud of their accomplishments.” 

In July each winner will attend the NFB’s seventieth annual national convention in Dallas, Texas, where the 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 convention on Thursday, July 8. 

For more information on the National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program, visit