Three students in Salus University’s Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLVS) programs have received this year’s Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Service Foundation (NEPALSF) scholarships to support their careers in the field of education and rehabilitation of individuals with visual impairments.
The scholarship was born out of a partnership between NEPALSF and BLVS in an effort to reduce the shortage of personnel serving children and adults with visual impairments in the keystone state, particularly in the regions served by NEPALSF, according to Fabiana Perla, EdD, COMS, CLVT, chair of the BLVS department.
The 2020 scholarship recipients are Mary Price
, in the Orientation and Mobility (O&M) program; Michaela Halesey
, in the Educators of Children and Youth with Visual Impairments (TVI) program; and Katelyn Maffei
, also in the Educators of Children and Youth with Visual Impairments (TVI) program.
Mary Price was born and raised in the Wilkes Barre, Pa. area and is a 2004 graduate of King's College. She’s currently working as the Social Service Coordinator at Northeast Sight Services. The mother of a 10-year-old daughter, she is also a girls basketball coach and volunteer. After graduation, she plans to use her education in Northeast Pennsylvania to empower the blind and visually impaired population with independence in the community by providing O&M instruction.
“This scholarship means a lot to me as a single working mom,” said Price. “It is a huge financial help as I return to school after 16 years to finally pursue a career in something that will make a difference in our community.”
Michaela Halesey, from Hanover Township, Pa. recently graduated from Misericordia University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education. She currently works as a substitute teacher for local school districts and as a job coach for Misericordia University’s Autism for Lifelong Learning Program. After she completes her coursework from Salus University, she plans to begin a career as a teacher of the visually impaired.
Katelyn Maffei, from Danville, Pa. recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education from Misericordia University.
“I am so honored to be awarded the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Service Foundation scholarship,” she said. “My passion has always been teaching, and I have truly found my calling working with the visually impaired community.” After graduation she plans to be a TVI in Pennsylvania. “I hope to have a positive influence in my students' lives by promoting self-advocacy, independence, positivity, and kindness in my profession. I aim to treat teaching children who are blind and visually impaired not only as a career, but as my vocation,” said Maffei.