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2022 Awardees

Pitt Counseling is proud to announce the 2022 awardees of the Project CRESTS (Certified Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators Supporting Transition Success) scholarships! These scholarships are made possible through a U.S. Department of Education training grant and fully fund the awardees’ graduate training. The scholars will participate in interdisciplinary coursework and enrichment experiences with an emphasis on supporting students who are blind and visually impaired as they transition from secondary education settings, resulting in improved career outcomes and quality of life.

Victoria Huston:

"My mother has been a practicing Pediatric Orthoptist in the greater Pittsburgh area since I was four years old. As a child, I would claim to have poor eyesight just so I could go to work with her. Her bedside manner was inspiring; she always had exciting toys to place above her retinoscope and uniquely patterned eye-patches. As I got older, I became increasingly aware of how society is structured for able-bodied individuals, often making it difficult for the visually impaired to be treated fairly, especially as adolescents. Because mental health is vital to one’s social, educational and physical well-being, it is imperative that mental health counselors’ can expand the rhetoric and accessibility surrounding mental health. Motivated by this experience and a similar passion to help others transform their grief into empathy, the University of Pittsburgh's SHRS program has fulfilled my goal of working with transition age students who are blind and visually impaired. Inspired by the work my mother does, I am eager to return to my hometown of Pittsburgh for my training so that I can give back to the communities that supported and nurtured me through my own pain."

Carlee Stelter:

"Giving back to the visually impaired community has and always will be very important to me. One of the reasons why I am so passionate about the visually impaired community is because my great grandfather was completely blind after suffering from a traumatic accident. Making a positive impact on students who are blind or visually impaired would allow me to be an important figure in their life and pick them up when they’re feeling down or in need of a little encouragement. I want to help them overcome the challenges involved with being blind or visually impaired and cheer them on in building a rewarding life."

Katherine Soller:

"From my previous work in disability support, I know what it means to be a true advocate is both advocating for their independence and care and promoting their self-advocacy. The Project CRESTS Scholarship allows me to continue my advocacy work with students who are blind and visually impaired. As a counselor, I hope to create a therapeutic space where these students have the freedom and support to reach their education or career goals, improve their self-perception, and find what fulfills and empowers them."

We are no longer accepting applications for Project CRESTS