Department of Human Services | Five Students to be Awarded Scholarships during New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Annual Blind and Vision-Impaired Awareness Night
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(TRENTON) – Highlighting the achievements of the blind and visually impaired, five New Jersey students will be awarded college scholarships Thursday at New Jersey Department of Human Services’ 13th Annual Blind and Vision-Impaired Awareness Night with the Trenton Thunder.

Students from Bayonne, Princeton, Edison, Stratford and Cherry Hill to be Recognized for Achievements before Trenton Thunder Game

Five Students to be Awarded Scholarships during New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Annual Blind and Vision-Impaired Awareness Night

Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson and Bernice Davis, acting executive director of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, will recognize the achievements of the awardees during 6 p.m. pre-game ceremonies at Arm & Hammer Park at 1 Thunder Road off of Route 29 in Trenton.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center and the Trenton Thunder.

“Tonight is an opportunity to honor extraordinary students and remind us all of the achievements of those who are blind and visually impaired,” Johnson said. “I look forward to the continued success of the five individuals we are honoring and am excited for them to use their tremendous talents to make our world a better place for many years to come.”

This year’s awardees are:

  • Ida Behreini of Bayonne, who is a Computer Science major at Drew University in Madison. Ida will receive The Nathan and Sally Rogoff Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Nathan Rogoff, who served on the Commission’s Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, established this scholarship when his dear wife Sally passed away. The late Nathan and Sally Rogoff were both well known for their generosity and dedication to helping others, especially young people who are blind or vision-impaired.
  • Kiernan Dempsey of Princeton, who is pursuing double majors in Computer Science and Interactive Media at The College of New Jersey in Ewing. Kiernan will receive The Cathy and Herb Bodensiek Scholarship. This scholarship was established by the late Herb Bodensiek, who was a businessman and Bergen County resident who wanted to encourage and support the career goals of NJCBVI students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or business. During their lifetimes, Bodensiek and his wife, Cathy, both contributed many volunteer hours and personal resources to organizations serving people who are blind or vision-impaired.
  • Jose Dominguez of Edison, who will be pursuing double majors in Theater Arts and Education in the fall at DePaul University in Chicago. Jose will receive The Caroline Rose Foster Scholarship for Independence and Self-Determination. Caroline Rose Foster received services from the Commission from 1964 until her death in 1979 at age 102. This noted New Jersey philanthropist donated from her estate to promote the Commission's work for blind and vision-impaired people.  A Morristown resident since 1881, Foster distinguished herself in the social and political life of Morris County and the State. 
  • Nimit Kaur of Stratford, who is a Liberal Arts major at Camden County College in Blackwood. Through the generosity of The Fund for the NJ Blind, Nimit will receive The Sarah Churchill Scholarship for Leadership and Community Service. The original name for the Fund for the NJ Blind was the Churchill Fund, named for Sarah Churchill, a blind music teacher who taught in schools in Newark and Orange.  Churchill was a prominent Montclair resident who dedicated her time and substantial resources to the Commission and its clients in the early 1900s.
  • Sena Pottackal of Cherry Hill, who is working toward a master’s degree in Public Relations from New York University. Sena will receive The Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship for a student majoring in the fields of Health Services or Communications. This scholarship was established in accordance to the last will and testament of the late Mary Louise Buckley, a Registered Nurse who lived and worked in Mercer County. Throughout her life she enjoyed giving back to the community as a volunteer for organizations such as The American Cancer Society, Interfaith Caregivers and Learning Ally, formerly known as Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.
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