Five Students Awarded Scholarships during New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Annual Blind and Visually Impaired Awareness Night

Students from Morris Plains, Belle Mead, Princeton, Kenilworth, and Cherry Hill Recognized for Achievements before Trenton Thunder Game

(TRENTON) – Highlighting the achievements of people who are blind and visually impaired, five New Jersey students were awarded college scholarships Thursday at the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ 14th Annual Blind and Visually Impaired Awareness Night with the Trenton Thunder.

Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira and Bernice Davis, the Executive Director of Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, recognized the achievements of the awardees during a pre-game ceremony.

The event was sponsored by the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center and the Trenton Thunder.

“Those who are blind and visually impaired can accomplish anything – and these amazing students are stellar examples of that for all of New Jersey,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said. “I am so proud of their achievements and look forward to them helping create a better New Jersey in the years ahead.”

“I’m excited to honor these extraordinary students on the week Governor Murphy proclaimed Deaf Blindness Awareness Week in New Jersey to celebrate the achievements of those who are blind and visually impaired,” Deputy Commissioner Neira said. “I look forward to the continued success of these five students and am excited for them to use their tremendous talents and help shape a more inclusive and diverse New Jersey.”

This year’s awardees are:

  • Amy Albin of Morris Plains, who will soon be a Psychology major at Montclair State University.  Throughout high school, she was an Advanced Placement Scholar of Distinction having maintained a solid 4.0 grade point average. In addition to her studies, Amy dedicates a great deal of her time serving the community as a volunteer, working with young people aging out of the foster care system, as a Braille tutor for blind grammar school students and as an advocate for all people with disabilities.  In recognition of her achievements in and out of the classroom, Amy Albin is being awarded the Sarah Churchill Scholarship for leadership and community service.
  • Mihir Doshi of Belle Mead, who will begin pursuing a double major in Economics and Math at New York University in the fall. While in high school, he founded both a club for students interested in engineering, math and science and a non-profit organization that helps provide eye glasses for those in need.  Mihir, who is also an Eagle scout is being awarded the Cathy and Herb Bodensiek Scholarship for Blind and Visually Impaired STEM majors.
  • Natasha Ishaq of Princeton. This National Honors Society member will major in both Physics and Political Science at The College of New Jersey. She is a poet, human rights activist, a community volunteer, a musician, and a Cadet First Sargent in the ROTC. Natasha is this year’s recipient of the Sally and Nathan Rogoff Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
  • Sena Pottackal, of Cherry Hill, is fulfilling the course requirements to earn a Masters’ degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications at New York University. Sena mentors teens who are vision-impaired and is a Student-Senator-at-Large at NYU, where she proactively advocates for equal rights and opportunities for herself and other students with disabilities. Sena is being awarded the Caroline Foster Scholarship for Independence and Self-Determination.
  • Jonathan Zobek of Kenilworth, who is a Communications major at The College of New Jersey. hosts a weekly radio show broadcast on WTSR 91.3 FM and is the Vice –President of the NJ Association of Blind Students. Along with being recognized for his longstanding record of academic excellence, he has distinguished himself through his volunteerism and his efforts to promote equality and community integration for people who are blind and visually impaired. Jonathan is being awarded the Mary Buckley Scholarship for students majoring in Communications.