Lighthouse Guild Awards More than $200,000 in Scholarships to Outstanding Students with Vision Loss

Scholarship Program Helps Accomplished Students Who Are Legally Blind Continue Their Education

Jul 27, 2015, 09:30 ET from Lighthouse Guild

NEW YORK, July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision + healthcare organization, today announced that it has awarded more than $200,000 in merit scholarships to an outstanding group of students who are blind or visually impaired.

Following a rigorous application process that included academic excellence and community involvement considerations, 20 high school seniors from around the country were each awarded unrestricted scholarships of $10,000 to help them make the transition from high school to a college or university of their choice. Additionally, three graduate students were each awarded $5,000 merit scholarships to support their continuing education.

"Lighthouse Guild is pleased to recognize these remarkable students who have shown that vision loss is not a barrier to success – in or out of the classroom. Their achievements are an inspiration and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for these bright young adults," said Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, which serves more people who are blind or visually impaired than any other organization in the country.

Teachers also play an important role in their student's academic accomplishments, so each year the Lighthouse Guild Scholarship Program honors one influential educator for the effect they've had on a scholarship recipient's academic life. As part of the application process, each student is required to submit a personal essay describing how an outstanding teacher has made an impact on their education.

This year, Brian Fendrick, a Fremont High School (Plain City, Utah) AP English and Yearbook Advisor to graduating senior Marybai Huking, will be recognized with a $5,000 prize. As Marybai wrote in her nominating essay, Fendrick "never once doubted my abilities and believed that I would be successful when I didn't believe in myself."

The 2015 scholarship and grant recipients are:

  • Travis AprileMontville, New Jersey; Montville Township High School
  • Annika ArielSanta Rosa, California; Maria Carrillo High School
  • Ryan BlumeSummit, New Jersey; Summit High School
  • Kristina ColtonPark City, Utah; Park City High School
  • Chase CrispinBlair, Nebraska; Blair High School
  • Nicole EspositoOld Brookville, New York; Our Lady of Mercy Academy
  • Shoshana FinkelEnglewood, New Jersey; Bruriah High School
  • Aszkara Gilchrist – West Palm Beach, Florida; Home school
  • Marybai Huking – Plain City, Utah; Fremont High School
  • Timothy JonesNorcross, Georgia; TNT Academy
  • Norman LiOzone Park, New York; Stuyvesant High School
  • Cassandra MendezHuber Heights, Ohio; Troy Christian High School
  • Celia MonroeMiamisburg, Ohio; Miamisburg High School
  • Mark MeyersGrain Valley, Missouri; Blue Springs South High School
  • Elaine PhillipsWayland, Massachusetts; Home school and Harvard Extension School
  • Margaret RichterCanton, Connecticut; The Loomis Chaffee School
  • Kevin RuoffPiscataway, New Jersey; Piscataway High School
  • Jacey SohmHolly Hill, South Carolina; Holly Hill Academy
  • Matt SteadNorth Reading, Massachusetts; Reading High School
  • Hannah WerbelSammamish, Washington; Skyline High School

Students who were awarded grants to attend graduate school include:

  • Matthew Guberman-PfefferStratford, Connecticut; University of Connecticut
  • Henry WedlerDavis, California; University of California
  • Mercedes ZapataAlameda, California; University of California, Berkeley

For information on Lighthouse Guild's scholarship program for the 2016 academic year, contact Gordon Rovins at 212-769-7801, e-mail, or visit our website

About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading not-for-profit vision + healthcare organization with a long history of addressing the needs of people who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities or chronic medical conditions. By integrating vision + healthcare services and expanding access through education and awareness, we help people lead productive, dignified and fulfilling lives. For more information, visit

SOURCE Lighthouse Guild