Lighthouse Guild Grants National Scholarships to Students With Vision Loss


NEW YORK—It can be challenging for students to get accepted to and pay for college, especially for students with vision loss. For this reason, Lighthouse Guild, a leading not-for-profit vision and health care organization, grants scholarships each year to students who are legally blind. This year, 10 high school students and one graduate student have been selected as recipients, according to an announcement from the organization. Lighthouse Guild scholarships of up to $10,000 are based on strong academic accomplishment and merit to help students who are blind attend the college of their choice. Scholarships of up to $10,000 are also awarded to graduate students to help them continue their academic studies.

This year’s scholarship recipients, listed below with the schools they will be attending, are:
• Brielle Cayer, Middletown, Conn. (Fordham University)
• Tian Crossnoe, Bentonville, Ark. (University of Kansas)
• Joseph Luther Fuller, Lawrence, Kam. (University of Kansas)
• Isaac Heiman, Mukilteo, Wash. (Western Washington University)
• Trisha Kulkarni, Centerville, Ohio (Stanford University)
• Jack McPadden, Winchester, Mass. (Clark University)
• Mausam Mehta, Staunton, Va. (University of Virginia)
• Mark Ruoff, Piscataway, N.J. (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
• Sophia Vilim, Chicago, Ill. (Villanova University)
• Gillian Ward, North Aurora, Ill. (Loyola University)
• Mary McLaughlin, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (Trinity College Dublin, MBA Program)

Since its inception in 2005, Lighthouse Guild’s Scholarship Program has awarded over $2 million in scholarships to outstanding students from 36 states. Former scholarship recipients have gone on to careers as attorneys, teachers, engineers, chemists, composers, musicians, neuroscientists, social workers, business owners, investors, epidemiologists, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, journalists and computer scientists.

“Education is the key to opportunity,” said Dr. Alan R. Morse, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “We are pleased to help outstanding students who are legally blind advance their studies and open the door to a successful future. We are equally pleased to acknowledge teachers who help students realize their dreams.”

In related news, Lighthouse Guild also recognizes outstanding teachers based on nominations from the students themselves. This year’s Lighthouse Guild Teacher’s Award recipient is Sherry Shuman, from Centerville High School in Ohio. According to Trisha Kulkarni, who will be attending Stanford University in the fall, Shuman “was the first teacher who treated me as a student, not as a student who was disabled. Little did I know that would be one of the many firsts that I would experience in her class,” she said.

“We’ve received hundreds of scholarship applications and essays nominating teachers from amazing students across the country,” said Gordon Rovins, director of Special Programs at Lighthouse Guild. “These students have powerful stories of personal triumph and academic achievement. We congratulate them, their teachers and their families.”