Charles V. Costello Memorial Scholarship

Each year, AVRE endeavors to award one or more scholarships to legally blind or visually impaired post-high school students. The intent is to offer one or more scholarships of at least $500, although this may change at the discretion of the Association and the Scholarship committee.

We are pleased to announce our Scholarship winners for 2015!

Jennifer Ocana

Jennifer is a graduate of Hancock High school and aspires to be a broadcaster. She will be attending Keystone College in Pennsylvania.

Cayla Demoski

Cayla is a graduate of Owego Free Academy. She spends her free time volunteering at UHS for four years in the NICU. Cayla aspires to become a registered nurse and will be attending school at Elmira College.

Applicants must be legally blind or visually impaired and be attending or accepted to an accredited training school or institution of higher learning. Students pursuing degrees in the science, technology or business fields are especially encouraged to apply. All degree levels will be considered. Applicants must also be residents of or attending a school in any of the New York and Pennsylvania counties served by the Association.

All qualified individuals are encouraged to contact the Association for more details and a brochure that specifies eligibility, deadlines and application procedures. Awards are intended to be made in the summer for the following fall semester.

The scholarship program was established in 2002 to honor the memory of Charles V. Costello. Mr. Costello was a long time and highly respected contributor to our community, a dedicated member of the Board of Directors of the Association, a supporter of the pursuit of higher education, a person who understood vision disability and a warm, wonderful person.

Previous Scholarship Winners

  • 2014: Samantha Wackford
  • 2013: Steve Reidy
  • 2012: Michael Forzano, Steve Reidy
  • 2011: Jaclyn Horvath, David Briggs, Anthony Gerchaman
  • 2010: Jaclyn Horvath, Matthew Gibbons, Nina Bektic-Marrero
  • 2009: Jiyan Omar, Nina Bektic-Marrero, Stephen Comency
  • 2008: Ronda Girardi, Matthew Gibbons
  • 2007: Stephen Comency, German Fermin, Ronda Girardi
  • 2006: Krystal Baker, Adam Drake
  • 2005: Michael Byce, Kirstin Lauther, Pete Zarubin and Terry Kozak
  • 2004: Aaron Baier and Terry Kozak
  • 2003: Brianna Cook, Amy Orshal and Adam Drake
  • 2002: Suzanne Leathers and Terry Gonyou

Contributions to the Scholarship Fund are greatly appreciated and acknowledged.

Follow the link to access our brochure - PDF; MS Word

For more information about the Costello Scholarship, contact Teri Chamberlin, Director - Health and Rehab Services at (607) 724-2428.

Additional Scholarships Available

The National Federation of the Blind of New York State, Inc. also has a Scholarship program. For information regarding requirements, award amounts and the application process, contact Raymond Wayne at
(718) 491-0053.

The National Association of Blind Students, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, also has information on scholarships for blind and visually impaired students. Visit their website at