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Lighthouse Guild Awards College Scholarships of $10,000 Each to 15 Students Who Are Blind

Funds help recipients offset education costs to pursue academic and career goals.

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Matthew Cho | Maryam Abdul Sattar | Jack McPadden
Matthew Cho | Maryam Abdul Sattar | Jack McPadden

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Lighthouse Guild announced that it is awarding 15 college scholarships of $10,000 each to students from across the country who are legally blind and will be entering college or attending graduate school in the Fall.

Lighthouse Guild scholarships are based on strong academic accomplishment and merit to help students who are legally blind make a successful transition to college and graduate school. The 2023 recipients will be attending some of the nation’s most competitive universities.

Since 2005, Lighthouse Guild’s Scholarship Program has awarded over $2.7 million in scholarships to outstanding students from around the country. Former scholarship recipients have gone on to careers as nurses, attorneys, teachers, engineers, chemists, composers, musicians, neuroscientists, social workers, business owners, investors, epidemiologists, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, journalists, and computer scientists.

“It’s challenging for young people today to achieve their higher education goals, and students who are visually impaired face particular challenges” said Calvin W. Roberts, MD, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “We are pleased to support these outstanding students, so they have a clearer path to success in their chosen careers. I congratulate them on their academic achievements and wish them well in the future.”

Overcoming Significant Challenges
Matthew Cho, a resident of New York City who will be attending Marymount College this Fall, lost his vision in 2019 because of a brain tumor. After attending the New York Institute for Special Education and taking college courses he was offered a Tech Pals internship from Lighthouse Guild where he mentored visually impaired senior citizens on how to use technology.

“Having this opportunity has helped me realize my own future goals,” Matthew explained. “The joy of helping others made me pursue a career in music therapy. I am here today because music helped me get through the darkest times. My dream is to get people through their mental, emotional, and physical illnesses through the power of music. My hope is to give back to my community as it did for me.”

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After obtaining an associate’s degree from Cuyamaca College in 2019 and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in 2021, Maryam Abdul Sattar from San Diego, CA, is pursuing a master’s degree in social work from San Diego State.

“After receiving my degree, my plan is to apply to law school and study immigration law,” Maryam said. “As an Asian refugee and as someone with a disability, I have been a victim of discrimination and bullying myself. Therefore, I think I can make a difference working as an advocate to ensure equality in society.”

An additional scholarship this year, under the umbrella of the Lighthouse Guild program, is the Dr. Neil S. Patel Memorial Scholarship, which helps students who are visually impaired fulfill their aspirations in college or graduate school to support under-served populations. This year’s Patel scholarship recipient is graduate student, Jack McPadden, who is pursuing a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Spalding University.

“Both personally and professionally, I am dedicated to supporting people from systemically marginalized populations who lack access to evidence-based, culturally responsive mental health services,” Jack said. “I hope to cultivate clinical skills to effectively support young people experiencing mental health difficulties as I carry my passion for this work to my graduate education.”

Lighthouse Guild 2023 scholarship recipients with their schools:

Undergraduate Scholarships

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  • Skylar Adad, Danville, CA, Boise State University
  • Kenny Calhoun, Aldie, VA, William & Mary
  • Matthew Cho, New York, NY, Marymount Manhattan College
  • Holly Connor, Clayton, MO, Webster University
  • Jack Freeburg, Volin, SD, University of Notre Dame
  • Julia LaGrand, Grand Rapids, MI, New England Conservatory
  • Haley Nisperly, Wheeling, WV, University of Charleston
  • Caden Roebke, Gypsum, CO, Colorado School of Mines
  • Ashleigh Rogers, Duncannon, PA, Lebanon Valley College
  • Charlotte Wismer, Drexel Hill, PA, Rochester Institute of Technology

Graduate Scholarships

  • Trisha Kulkarni, Dayton, OH, Stanford University
  • Jack McPadden, (Patel Scholarship), Winchester, MA, Spalding University
  • Emely Recinos, New York, NY, Syracuse University College of Law
  • Elizabeth Rouse, Durant, IA, University of Minnesota School of Law
  • Maryam Abdul Sattar, San Diego, CA, San Diego State University
About Lighthouse Guild

Lighthouse Guild provides exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals, offering coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation, technology, and behavioral health as well as related services. The Lighthouse Guild Technology Center provides people with vision loss access to the latest assistive devices and state-of-the-art technology. The Lighthouse Guild podcast series, “On Tech & Vision with Dr. Cal Roberts,” offers information and insights about technological innovations that are tearing down barriers for people who are blind or visually impaired.

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