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Holman Prize Finalists

Introducing the 2022 Holman Prize Finalists!

Introducing the 2022 Holman Prize Finalists!

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired is thrilled to announce the ten 2022 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition finalists. 
Named for 19th century blind explorer James Holman, the prize awards up to $25,000 each to three blind people each year with ambitious ideas that will change perceptions about blindness worldwide.
This year we have five women and five men as our finalists.
We would also like to thank Waymo for their sponsorship of one of this year’s three Holman Prizes.
The finalists, in no particular order, are:
Abby Griffith, age 28
Country: United States
Proposal: Empower blind and low vision youth of Ethiopia by providing Braille reading and writing devices to students at the school for the blind in Ethiopia
Josh Tseng, age 24
Country: Singapore
Proposal: Produce an online video series “Blind Guy Tries Everything” that will document adventures and try as many things as possible that would be considered unfathomable for people who are blind or have low vision
Fiona Demark, age 45
Country: Australia
Proposal: Video series “Dougherty Dares Downunder,” will challenge blind perceptions by completing a series of dares and activities

Ernie Heredero, age 33
Country: Philippines
Proposal: Open a “Dining in the Dark” style restaurant in Palawan and employ all staff who are blind or have low vision
Flor Jimenez, age 46
Country: United States
Proposal: Promote and support adaptive sports for blind and low vision youth in Latin America
Arron George, age 32
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Proposal: Record seven studio albums and provide studio time, instrumental creation, mixing and mastering, social media marketing, website creation, photo shoots and music videos for blind artists
Oluwakemi Odusanya, age 29
Country: Nigeria
Proposal: Provide leadership training to women who are blind or have low vision in Nigeria
Kesah Princely, age 24
Country: Cameroon
Proposal: Blind Youth Leadership Development Program will provide blindness training and advocacy to youth in Cameroon who are blind or have low vision

Cassie Hames, age 33
Country: Australia
Proposal: Create “See Me,” a fully integrated app that communicates with bus drivers and notifies drivers of approaching bus stops, making independent travel on public transportation safer and more accessible for the blind
Tafadzwa Nyamuzihwa, age 38
Country: Germany
Proposal: “Shining Star” will open recording studios in two African countries that will employ and train blind and low vision people to become radio and audio entertainers
What happens next? This July, a panel of judges from all over the world will gather virtually to choose the three winners; stay tuned to find out who they will be.

Announcing the 2018 Holman Prize Finalists

Grid of photos of the 2018 Holman Prize Finalists


Last year, we started the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition, a set of annual awards of up to $25,000 each for legally blind individuals with big ideas. In our second year, we received video applications from all over the world – including nine more countries we hadn’t heard from last year – all fascinating and compelling in their own rite. The Holman Team narrowed the pool to 42 semifinalists, all of whom submitted detailed proposals mapping out their dream projects.

This week, we’re proud to announce our elite group of fourteen finalists, including a “People’s Choice” finalist who we honor for receiving the highest number of YouTube ‘likes’ for his ambitious idea. These finalists will all be in the running to make their ambitions a reality when our Holman Committee meets in San Francisco this June.

The fourteen finalists are as diverse and dynamic a group as you could imagine, including those who want to give back to their communities, those who seek to push the boundaries of science and tech, and those with infectious enthusiasm for a particular or unexpected craft.

Over the next month, we hope you’ll sound off on which Holman Prize candidate you want to see take their ambitions on the road. Feel free to tag Holman Prize on TwitterInstagram and head to the LightHouse’s Facebook page for more updates.

Meet our 2018 finalists below: 

Becky Andrews

Bountiful, Utah, USA
Becky, a marathon runner and cyclist, would use the Holman Prize to implement a series of empowerment retreats for blind and visually-impaired women.

Zeljko Bajic

Sarajevo, Bosnia

Zeljko, a radio producer and host, would use the Holman Prize to create a podcast “for and about blind people living all over the world.”

Luanne Burke

Boulder, Colorado, USA

Luanne, a seasoned long-distance runner, would use the Holman Prize to educate visually-impaired communities around the world about the joys and logistics of guided running.

Stacy Cervenka

Sacramento, California, USA

Stacy, who works in the disability employment field, would use the Holman Prize to launch an accessible travel forum similar to Yelp or TripAdvisor, geared specifically towards helping blind users optimize their trips around the world.

Leona Godin

Castle Rock, Colorado, USA

Leona, an actor and writer, would use the Holman Prize to expand her magazine “Aromatica Poetica,” which is “dedicated to the arts and sciences” of smell. Furthermore, she would use the prize money to fund her own prize, geared in part towards visually-impaired writers.

Carol Green

Kirtland, New Mexico, USA

Having recently developed a braille code for the Navajo language, Carol would use the Holman Prize to launch a summer program to educate and share the code across the Navajo Nation. Her proposal also includes tactile interpretation of landscapes and critical features of the nation’s geography.

Andrew Hasley

Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Andrew, a biologist and geneticist, would use the Holman Prize to facilitate a conference for blind scientists and students from across the globe, called “Sciencing While Blind,” where participants could network and exchange tips and tools.

Conchita Hernandez

Washington, DC, USA

Conchita, who is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Special Education, would use the Holman Prize to create a workshop in her native Mexico for professionals in the blindness field, and blind people of all ages.

Georgina Hollinshead

Matlock, Derbyshire, UK

Georgina, who says she was “born a crafter,” would use the Holman Prize to launch a social enterprise called Hook and Eye Crafts, geared toward teaching blind and visually impaired people the joys of knitting, crochet and cross-stitch.

Alieu Jaiteh

Banjul, Serrekunda, Gambia

Alieu, the founder of the blindness advocacy organization Start Now, would use the Holman Prize to provide various skills, including computer literacy, cane travel and Braille, to blind and low-vision participants in rural Gambia.

Sandeep Kumar

*People’s Choice Finalist*

Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Sandeep, who has developed a tool called Eye Renk, which allows the visually impaired to easily differentiate between various ocular medications, would use the Holman Prize to build a lab for further development of Eye Rank and other technologies for the visually impaired.

Ambrose Kiplangat Lasoy

Rift Valley Province, Kenya

Kiplangat would use the Holman Prize to develop a program to enable his fellow blind and low-vision Kenyans to become dairy farmers and entrepreneurs.

Aishwarya T.V.

Secunderabad, Telangana, India

Aishwarya, a filmmaker and rehabilitation counselor, would use the Holman Prize to create a training center for the blind and low-vision community to study elements of filmmaking like script writing, film editing, sound mixing, production and more.

Red Szell

London, UK

Red, an extreme sports enthusiast, would use the Holman Prize to undertake an extreme sports triathlon to conquer Am Buachaille, one of the most remote rock pinnacles at the Northwest tip of the United Kingdom.

Learn more about the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition at www.holmanprize.org.