2021 Scholarship Program Finalists

The NFB announced the 30 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.

  1. Maryam Abdul Sattar, California: Social Worker/Advocate
  2. Christopher Abel, Georgia: Financial Planner
  3. Kaleigh Brendle, New Jersey: Disability Rights Attorney
  4. Samantha Chase, Montana: Behavioral Health
  5. Tashara Cooper, Florida: Modeling/Simulation
  6. Shannon Donahue, Washington: Pediatric Mental Health Counselor
  7. Lizzie Dunn, Michigan: Social Work
  8. Christina Ebersohl, Illinois: Musician/Musical Education Advocate
  9. Maya El Cheikh, New York: Law/Advocacy
  10. Lucien Gandarias, Washington: Quantum Physics Researcher/Professor
  11. Joel Gomez, California: Industrial Engineer
  12. Michael Jaden Gretchokoff, Mississippi: Emergency Services Dispatcher
  13. Manahil Jafri, New York: Public Policy/Disability Rights Advocate
  14. Peter Jansen, Michigan: Medical Research
  15. Adi Lemmon, Pennsylvania: Elementary Teacher
  16. Eric Mandell, California: Physics
  17. Haylee Mota, Rhode Island: Mechanical Engineer
  18. Lizzy Muhammad-Park, Maryland: Foreign Service Officer
  19. Demetria Ober, Texas: Social Work/Medical Interpretation
  20. Treasa Marie Praino, New Jersey: Policy/Human Rights Advisor
  21. Stephen Proski, Arizona: Visual Artist/Disability Arts Advocate
  22. Tina Reisner, Utah: Cane Travel Instructor
  23. Syed Mahmud Rizvi, Massachusetts: Civil Rights Attorney
  24. Megan Swanson, California: Instructional Designer
  25. Kinshuk Tella, Ohio: Environmental Professional
  26. Sam Theoharis, New York: Civil Rights Law
  27. Zachary Ryan Thibodeaux, Texas: Public Policy
  28. Tanya Wigfall-Harrington, Pennsylvania: Disability Consultant
  29. Mirranda Williams, Georgia: Geriatric Behavioral and Mental Health/Social Work
  30. 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 nfb.org/scholarships