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


Students and individuals recognized for academic and life accomplishments; scholarships awarded to support further education in various fields.

The Human Services Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI) celebrated the achievements and talents of blind, deafblind, and visually impaired individuals on August 7th during a Trenton Thunder game. Four students were honored with scholarships, while four individuals were recognized for their significant contributions and talents.

WHO: New Jersey's Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI), Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman, Deputy Commissioner of Social Services Elisa Neira, CBVI Executive Director Dr. Bernice Davis, and eight recognized individuals.

WHAT: A ceremony to award college scholarships to four students and recognize four individuals who are blind and visually impaired for their achievements.

WHEN: August 7, 2023, during the Trenton Thunder game.

WHERE: Trenton, New Jersey, at the Trenton Thunder game.

WHY: To acknowledge and celebrate the talents, achievements, and potential of individuals who are blind, deafblind, and visually impaired, as well as promote community inclusion and awareness.

HOW: The event included scholarship awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to deserving students, as well as special recognition to trailblazers in the blind and visually impaired community.

The CBVI's recognition event serves as a significant platform in New Jersey, not only to reward academic achievements but also to honor exceptional individuals who have overcome visual impairments to contribute positively to society and their communities.

Scholarship Recipients:

  • Angelina Solomon of Bayonne (Psychology at Montclair State University) – Mary Louise Buckley Scholarship.
  • Allison Priole of Rio Grande (Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern Maine) – Cathy and Herb Bodensiek Scholarship.
  • Victor Serban of Livingston (Computer Science at Rutgers University—Newark) – Caroline Rose Foster Scholarship.
  • Liam Nelson of Brick (Math and Business at Montclair State University) – Nathan & Sally Rogoff Scholarship.


  • Joanna Benthall – First blind person to earn the National Child Development Association Credential.
  • Tonya Hunt – Recognized for her advocacy and contributions to the blind community.
  • Father Jim Warnke – Episcopal Priest, presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The celebration at the Trenton Thunder game is a testament to New Jersey's commitment to recognizing and supporting the blind, deafblind, and visually impaired community. By honoring their academic and personal accomplishments, the event fosters a more inclusive and diverse community and emphasizes the importance of equitable access to education. The continued support and recognition from CBVI and other state authorities ensure a positive impact on building an even better New Jersey.

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