Department of Human Services

New Jersey Human Services Honors Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals at Trenton Thunder Game

 Students from Bayonne, Brick, Livingston, and Rio Grande Recognized for Academic Achievements with Scholarships; Four Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired Recognized for Their Talents

August 9, 2023

 (TRENTON) – Celebrating the accomplishments of individuals who are blind, deafblind and visually impaired, Human Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) today announced college scholarships to four blind, deafblind or visually impaired students, while also honoring four individuals who are blind and visually impaired for their achievements during the August 7th Trenton Thunder game.

“For nearly 20 years, CBVI has recognized the talents of individuals who are blind, deafblind, and visually impaired and we are excited to present such deserving students with these scholarships as well as recognize the accomplishments of trailblazers in the blind and visually impaired community during a Trenton Thunder game,” Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman said. “We are honored to promote community inclusion and awareness of the achievements of those who are blind, deafblind, and visually impaired.”  

 “Scholarships play an important role in promoting equitable access to education by alleviating the financial stress that can be associated with higher education, and we are happy to help ease that burden with these scholarships. Also, by honoring these individuals for their amazing talents, we in turn help foster a more inclusive and diverse community,” said Deputy Commissioner of Social Services Elisa Neira. “We look forward to their continued success and the positive impact they will have in creating an even better New Jersey.”

 “Recognizing the potential and promoting the achievements of individuals who are blind, deafblind, and visually impaired is of utmost importance,” said Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Executive Director Dr. Bernice Davis. “We congratulate these individuals on their amazing accomplishments and wish them all the best as they continue to achieve their personal goals.” 

Scholarship awards ranged from $1,000 to $5,000. This year’s awardees are:

  • Angelina Solomon of Bayonne, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Montclair State University. Angelina received the Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship for Students Majoring in Health Services or Communications.
  • Allison Priole of Rio Grande, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern Maine. Allison received the Cathy and Herb Bodensiek Scholarship for Students Majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) or Business Administration.
  • Victor Serban of Livingston, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Rutgers University —Newark. Victor received the Caroline Rose Foster Scholarship for Independence and Self-Determination.
  • Liam Nelson of Brick, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degrees in Math and Business at Montclair State University. Liam received the Nathan & Sally Rogoff Scholarship for Academic Excellence.

At Monday’s Trenton Thunder game on August 7th, Liam was honored along with

  • Joanna Benthall, who was recognized for being the first blind person to earn the National Child Development Association Credential.
  • Tonya Hunt, who was recognized for her contribution to the blind community and advocacy.
  • Father Jim Warnke, who is an Episcopal Priest and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

            To view pictures of the ceremony at the Trenton Thunder game, please go to our social media pages.