NYC Student Awarded Lighthouse Guild Scholarship

July 3, 2023

Posted by Able News

Matthew Cho of New York City is one of 15 students from across the country who recently received a college scholarship from the Lighthouse Guild.

The scholarships of $10,000 each are awarded annually to students who are legally blind and will be entering college or attending a graduate school.

Cho is enrolled as an undergraduate at Marymount College in Manhattan, where he will begin his studies in the fall.

In 2019, Cho was diagnosed with a brain tumor which required two surgeries to remove it. The second surgery caused him to lose his vision. In his scholarship application’s personal essay to the Lighthouse Guild, Cho wrote that he felt hopeless and lost, with NYC Student Awarded Lighthouse Guild Scholarship his everyday routine becoming a struggle due to having to relearn the simplest of things. 

However, when he went to the Lighthouse Guild, he was paired with a rehabilitation counselor and a mobility instructor, who taught him the new skills he needed to thrive despite his condition.

Cho attended the New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx, which specializes in educating students who have visual impairments. In addition, he recently took several college courses at Hostos Community College in the Bronx. Also, he has been engaged in a Lighthouse Guild internship called Tech Pals, where he mentored senior citizens who are visually impaired on how to use technology.  

According to Cho, another turning point in his recovery was discovering the guitar, saying that it brought him joy. 

“Having this opportunity has helped me realize my own future goals,” said Cho of the internship. “The joy of helping others made me pursue a career in music therapy. I am here today, because music helped me get through the darkest times. My dream is to get people through their mental, emotional and physical illnesses through the power of music. My hope is to give back to my community as it did for me.”

Lighthouse Guild scholarships are based on strong academic accomplishment and merit to help students who are legally blind make a successful transition to college and graduate school. Since 2005, they have awarded more than $2.7 million in scholarships to outstanding students.

“It’s challenging for young people today to achieve their higher education goals, and students who are visually impaired face particular challenges” said Calvin Roberts, president of Lighthouse Guild. “We are pleased to support these outstanding students, so they have a clearer path to success in their chosen careers. I congratulate them on their academic achievements and wish them well in the future.

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Lighthouse Guild is dedicated to providing exceptional services that inspire people who are visually impaired to attain their goals.