And the 2014-2015 Scholarship Winners Are…

by Michael Garrett

All of the 2014 ACB scholarship applications are in.  They’ve been sorted, categorized and carefully analyzed.  With so many deserving candidates, the selection process was as difficult as usual.  This year’s awards featured some new scholarships and the return of others which had been temporarily suspended.  Award amounts ranged from $1,000 to $3,500, which represented an increase in the top level we were able to give.
This year’s scholarship winners are:
Justine Aragon, Colo. – the Duane Buckley Memorial Scholarship
Hamid Hamraz, Ky. – the Kellie Cannon Memorial Scholarship
Kaitlyn Siekert, Wis. – the ACBS Brenda Dillon Memorial Scholarship
Lorise Diamond, Calif. – the Norma Shecter Memorial Scholarship
Nicholas Corbett, Mass. – the Bay State Council of the Blind Scholarship
Hina Altaf, Ill. – the John Hebner Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Muhammad, Pa. – the William G. Corey Memorial Scholarship
James Debus, Ohio – the Eunice Fiorito Memorial Scholarship
Sherrie Lilley, N.Y. – the Arnold Sadler Memorial Scholarship
Leslie Weilbacher, Ore. – the Oregon Council of the Blind Scholarship
Tabitha Brecke, Ala. – the Alma Murphey Memorial Scholarship
Emily Pennington, Ohio – the Ross and Patricia Pangere Scholarship
Kathryn Webster, N.C. – the Ross and Patricia Pangere Scholarship
Rachel Zeiter, Ohio – the Floyd Qualls Memorial Scholarship
Garrett Haywood, Fla. – the Floyd Qualls Memorial Scholarship
Antonio Vega, Fla. – the Floyd Qualls Memorial Scholarship
Charlotte Reed, Ky. – the Floyd Qualls Memorial Scholarship
David Techman, Va. – the Floyd Qualls Memorial Scholarship
Each year, the students bring a new sense of energy and excitement as they pursue their academic goals.  This year’s group was no exception.  It’s always a joy to be in their midst as they discuss what the future holds.  During the convention, the ACB Students were instrumental in getting the winners involved.  James Debus, a high-energy first-time winner, is now the president of ACB Students.  And to show how much the program means to some of the students, one of last year’s recipients came to Las Vegas just to be with his fellow students. 
A huge thank-you goes out to the scholarship committee and the Minneapolis staff for completing the selection process.  Special thanks go to our donors for investing in the lives of these worthy students. 
Congratulations to all of you! You may face challenges and obstacles, but your perseverance and persistence will ultimately pay off. 
2015 scholarship applications will be available on ACB’s web site on Dec. 1.  If you are interested in applying, or if you know someone who is, please refer him or her to the scholarship link on for more information. 

Caption:  The scholarship winners of 2014-2015. Bottom row, left to right: Leslie Weilbacher, Rachel Zeiter, Staci Mannella, Justine Aragon, Kathryn Webster, Elizabeth Muhammad, Tabitha Brecke, Nick Corbett, Sherrie Lilley, Kim Charlson. Top row, left to right: Cathy Schmitt Whitaker, Lorise Diamond, Sara Conrad, David Techman, Michael Garrett, Garrett Haywood, Antonio Vega, Hamid Hamraz, Lindsay Tilden, Jim Debus, Charlotte Reed, Don Koors.