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Lighthouse Guild Awards College Scholarships to Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Funds help recipients offset education costs to pursue academic goals.




Iliana Mejia | Brandon Swallow
Iliana Mejia | Brandon Swallow

(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 visually impaired and will be entering college or 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 2022 recipients will be attending some of the nation’s most competitive universities.

Iliana Mejia, a writer and musician from Woodhaven, New York, will be attending Marymount Manhattan College. “Being able to use art to create a safe space for myself has made me realize that one day I want to be able to do the same for others,” said Ms. Mejia. “There are many other people who also feel as if their stories have gone unheard. I want to create a space where people feel valued, respected, and heard because everyone has a story that makes them unique. Sometimes, they just need a safe place to tell it.”

“I am humbled and honored to be receiving this scholarship,” said Brandon Swallow of Rockingham, North Carolina, who will be attending the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. “A big load has been lifted from my shoulders. I will be able to go to college now knowing that I won’t be digging myself a huge financial hole. Lighthouse Guild has given me hope for a brighter future.” With a passion for coding, Brandon will major in computer science, with the hope of working in the government or at a non-profit to help those with disabilities.

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.

“At a time when the pandemic and financial burdens make going to college especially challenging, we are pleased to provide scholarships for deserving students who are visually impaired,” said Calvin W. Roberts, MD, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “I am honored we can support these outstanding students who have worked hard in a tough environment to achieve academic success. On behalf of everyone at the Lighthouse Guild, I wish them continued success in college and graduate school and in their chosen careers.”


Lighthouse Guild 2022 scholarship recipients with their schools:

Undergraduate Scholarships

  • Noah Carver, Beals, ME, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music
  • Una Fonte, Vergennes, VT, Smith College
  • Yael Korc, Herndon, VA, Dickinson College
  • Cindy Liu, Flushing, NY, Yale College
  • Iliana Mejia, Woodhaven, NY, Marymount Manhattan College
  • Caroline Mizer, Akron, OH, Otterbein University
  • David Mo, Ridgewood, NJ, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Camille O’Neill, Gretna, NE, Creighton University, Heider College of Business
  • Avery Sallean, Cary, NC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Brandon Swallow, Rockingham, NC, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Graduate Scholarships

  • Emma Chambers, Vestavia Hills, AL, Samford University, School of Health Professions
  • Marieke Davis, Columbus, OH, Columbus College of Arts & Design
  • Katelyn Kelel, Redford, MI, Seattle University
  • Jannik Pesch, Sarasota, FL, Florida International University, Chapman Graduate School of Business
  • Blake Tarrants, Blue Springs, MO, Missouri State University

Click here for more information on the scholarship recipients.


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