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Learning Ally Announces Student Winners of the 2021 National Achievement Awards

Categories: Activities, Awards, Education & Teaching, Funding & Awards, In the news, Press Releases

For Immediate Release:

June 22, 2021 - Princeton, NJ – Learning Ally, a national nonprofit working with U.S. educators and parents to help solve the literacy crisis, has announced the student winners of its 2021 National Achievement Awards (NAA). This unique awards program is an annual component of the Learning Ally Whole Child Literacy approach, recognizing student development of literacy skills informed by the best practices of the science of reading, cognitive and environmental factors, through the use of the award winning Learning Ally Audiobook Solution.

For over 60 years, Learning Ally has offered two endowed scholarship (NAA) awards for the purpose of recognizing and rewarding students in high school and college who struggle to read, have a learning disability, or visual impairments and who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance and outstanding commitment in their classrooms and communities.

The two awards are respectfully named for longtime advocates for education equity and who were generous donors to the organization:

  • The Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Award (LTL) is given to student members who are high school seniors with learning disabilities in recognition of their academic achievement, leadership, and service to others.

  • The Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Award (SAA) is given to college students who are blind or visually impaired, who are high achievers and have overcome great obstacles in their schooling and beyond.

The top three winners from each category receive a $6000 scholarship award. Students who receive special honors receive between $2,000 and $3000 monetary awards.

Andrew Friedman, CEO of Learning Ally said, "We sincerely congratulate all winners and participants. These individuals have excelled academically, socially, emotionally, and professionally in all endeavors. They are exemplary role models and an inspiration to us all, and to all students who are challenged in ways many of us can never imagine." 

Winners and Special Honorees of the Marion Huber Learning Through Listening Award

  • Samantha Widdison, Winner - Belmont, MA
  • Carragon Olles, Winner - DePere, WI
  • Pauline Simonson, Winner - Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Nicholas Talik, Special Honors - Houston, TX
  • John Andrew, Special Honors - Gloucester, MA
  • Benjamin Payson, Special Honors - Cape Elizabeth, ME

Winners and Special Honorees of the Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Achievement Award

  • Katherine Barba, Winner - New Rochelle, NY
  • Qusay Hussein, Winner - Austin, TX
  • Jonathan Zobek, Winner - Kenilworth, NJ
  • Yolanda Keahey, Special Honors - Jersey City, NJ
  • Debra Whitt, Special Honors - Springfield, MO
  • Jennifer Ratliff, Special Honors - Oklahoma City, OK 

To learn about the accomplishments of winners and honorees visit learningally.org/naa.

Educators and parents working with high school and college students with visual impairments and/or learning disabilities can learn about the NAA at learningally.org/naa.

To review the application process for student members who meet eligibility criteria visit learningally.org/NAA/Application.

Learning Ally is also proud to host the Winslow Coyne Reitnouer Excellence in Teaching Award to recognize exemplary educators who demonstrate leadership and innovative efforts in classroom instruction to improve education equity for students who struggle to read because of learning differences and visual disabilities.

About Learning Ally                                                

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit education solutions organization dedicated to equipping educators with proven solutions that help new and struggling learners reach their potential. Our range of literacy-focused offerings for students in Pre-K to 12th grade and catalog of professional learning allows us to support more than 1.5 million students and 200,000 educators through our solutions and community, across the United States. Visit: www.learningally.org.