National Federation of the Blind
2018 Scholarship Program has now ended.

The NFB is pleased to announce the thirty 2018 Scholarship Finalists:

Naim Muawia Abu-El Hawa, VA: Foreign Service officer/attorney in political law

Alexandra (Allie) Alfonso, DC; Music education and pre-law

Tasnim Alshuli, AZ; Professor and consultant

Millad Bokhouri, PA; Program designer in healthcare

Tyron Bratcher, MD; Social work

Christine (Chrys) Buckley, OR; Physician

Ozgul Calicioglu, PA; Bioeconomy and climate change

Olivia Charland, MA; Conservation biologist

Purvi Contractor, TX; Aerospace

Kenia Flores, NC; Civil rights attorney

John Harrison, WI; Advocacy

Eric Harvey, CA; Teach religion and religious literature

Justin Heard, GA; Teacher of blind students

Jeff Humphrey, MI; Ethnomedicine

Trisha Kulkarni, OH; Software engineer

Amanda Lannan, FL; Educator/researcher with a focus on STEM

Shane Lowe, KY; Cyber security

Seth Lowman, ID; Sound design/music production

Sara Mornis, VT; Writing and psychology

Connor Mullin, NJ; Cane travel instructor

Sarah Patnaude, VA; Victim advocate

Menuka (Jyoti) Rai, ND; Physical therapist

Elizabeth Rouse, IA; Lawyer

Yasmine Sarraf, AZ; Forensic scientist

Caitlin Sarubbi, NY; Physician

Rilee Sloan, OK; Lawyer specializing in disability advocacy

Harry Staley Jr., TX; Artificial intelligence

Matt Turner, ID; Machine learning and economics

Cathy Tuton, OK; Dietitian

Paige Young, ME; Accounting

To recognize achievement by blind scholars, the National Federation of the Blind annually offers blind college students in the United States and Puerto Rico the opportunity to win one of thirty merit-based, national-level scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000. All scholarships awarded are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership.


All applicants for these scholarships:

  1. Must be legally blind (PDF document) in both eyes, and
  2. Must be residing in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, and
  3. Must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, postsecondary course of study in a degree program at a United States institution in the 2018 scholastic year, except that one scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time, and
  4. Must participate in the entire NFB national convention and in all of its scheduled scholarship program activities.

    In addition to a scholarship, each winner will receive assistance to attend the 2018 National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention which will take place the first week of July 2018, in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with active blind persons in many different professions and occupations.

     See Scholarship FAQ for details.

Please Note: Some PDF files will not upload to the online Application form. If this occurs, please attach the PDF file to an email and send it to


What kind of student wins an NFB scholarship?  You may read about past NFB National Scholarship recipients in August-September "convention issues" of the Braille Monitor.

    Braille Monitor, August-September 2017
    Braille Monitor, August-September 2016
    Braille Monitor, August-September 2015
    Braille Monitor, August-September 2014
    Braille Monitor, August-September 2013
    Braille Monitor, August-September 2012
    Braille Monitor, August-September 2011

Please direct any additional questions to the chairperson.  Email is preferred.

Chairperson is Cayte Mendez
Office: (410) 659-9314, extension 2415

NFB Scholarship Program
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230


1. “College Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities” Guidebook will help students and their families better understand the vast number of financial aid options available to students with disabilities, including those who face cognitive, physical, or other types of disabilities while attending school. Key elements of the guide include:

  • A comprehensive review of scholarships, listed by disability
  • Amounts awarded and deadlines for each scholarship
  • Debt-forgiveness options for those who acquired a disability post-graduation

2. "Helping Students with Visual Impairments" Guide: The guide was created in part by four experts in the field, who lent their experience and expertise to help provide students with visual impairments the tips and resources needed to succeed in school. Key features include:

  • Tips for choosing the right college
  • An in-depth look at the top assistive technology and tools being used 
  • Scholarships available for students with visual impairments