National Federation of the Blind Announces 2019 Scholarship Program Finalists

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National Federation of the Blind Announces 2019 Scholarship Program Finalists

Baltimore, Maryland (May 8, 2019): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, today announced the finalists for its scholarship program, which awards thirty scholarships each year to recognize achievement by blind scholars. The students are listed below in alphabetical order with their home states and vocational goals.

  • Amy Albin, New Jersey: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Makayla Bouchea, Georgia: Human Resources
  • Tracy Boyd, Oregon: Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Kaden Calahan, New Mexico: Language Arts Teacher
  • Abdoulaye Dème, Michigan: Human Rights/International Lawyer
  • Eric Duffy, Ohio: Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator
  • Rebecca Dunfield, Nevada: Victim Advocate
  • Emily Eagle, Texas: Lawyer and Disability Advocate
  • Amy Hatten, Wisconsin: Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Maureen Hayden, Texas: Marine Biologist
  • Gene Kim, California: Mechanical Engineering and Symbolic Systems
  • Jenelle Landgraf, Washington: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Nina Marranca, New York: Clinical Psychologist
  • Ana Martinez Larumbe, Louisiana: Social Worker
  • Lucas Mebane, North Carolina: Biomedical Engineer
  • Gerald Meredith, Virginia: Professor of Criminal Justice
  • Pablo Morales, North Carolina: Blindness Education/Rehabilitation
  • Kaylee Nielson, Arizona: Lawyer
  • Erin Olsen, Idaho: Curriculum and E-learning Content Developer
  • Rachel Ooi, Tennessee: Lawyer and Children’s Advocate
  • Amelia Palmer, Idaho: Electrical Engineering and Mathematics
  • Aracely Rosillo, Georgia: Vision Rehabilitation Therapist
  • Heather Schey, Rhode Island: Human Services
  • Vanessa Sheehan, Arizona: Manuscript Editor
  • Brandon Shin, California: Law, Music, and Writing
  • Derique Simon, South Carolina: Victims’ Rights and Disability Lawyer
  • Helen Sydnor, Virginia: Teacher of Blind Students and Braille Transcriber
  • Alicia Ucciferri, Texas: Legal Work for Marginalized Communities
  • Madelyn Walker, Texas: Pharmaceutical Oncologist
  • Ryan Wullschleger, California: Lawyer

“The scholarship program is one of our most important initiatives,” said Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We are proud to honor these blind scholars, who are studying everything from psychology to engineering, and to welcome each of them to our upcoming national convention and to the family of the National Federation of the Blind. The accomplishments of these outstanding students are proof of our conviction that we, the blind of this nation, can live the lives we want; blindness does not hold us back.”

Each finalist will attend the NFB’s seventy-ninth annual national convention, beginning July 7 in Las Vegas, where the scholarship committee will spend several days getting to know each student before deciding 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 National Convention on Friday, July 12.

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)