New York (June 7, 2018) – 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, the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare 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. 

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 with the schools they will be attending) are:

• Brielle Cayer, Middletown, CT (Fordham University)
• Tian Crossnoe, Bentonville, AK (University of Kansas)
• Joseph Luther Fuller, Lawrence, KS (University of Kansas)
• Isaac Heiman, Mukilteo, WA (Western Washington University)
• Trisha Kulkarni, Centerville, OH (Stanford University)
• Jack McPadden, Winchester, MA (Clark University)
• Mausam Mehta, Staunton, VA  (University of Virginia)
• Mark Ruoff, Piscataway, NJ (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
• Sophia Vilim, Chicago, IL (Villanova University)
• Gillian Ward, North Aurora, IL (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,” says 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.”

Award for Teachers
The powerful role teachers play in motivating students, especially those who are blind, often goes unrecognized. This is why Lighthouse Guild recognizes outstanding teachers based on nominations from the students themselves. This year’s Lighthouse Guild Teacher’s Award recipient is Sherry Shuman, from Centerville (OH) High School.

According to Trisha Kulkarni, who will be attending Stanford University in the Fall, Mrs. 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.

“Mrs. Shuman’s efforts remain fundamental to all that

I strive to accomplish,” Trisha continued. “She has

taught me to approach every situation with an open

mind and a smile and to never settle for anything but

my best. It is because of her that I have discovered my

passion for STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering,

and Mathematics) and feel confident pursuing it in

college. No matter where life takes me, I will remain

grounded in the lessons that Mrs. Shuman has taught

me and use them to reach my fullest potential.”
“We’ve received hundreds of scholarship applications

and essays nominating teachers from amazing

students across the country,” says 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.” 

About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. We provide integrated, coordinated services and programs that address eye health and the needs of people with, or at risk for, vision loss. For more information, visit  

Sherry Shuman

Lighthouse Guild Announces National Scholarships 
To Students Who Are Blind

Trisha Kulkarni

Outstanding Teacher Also Receives Award