Dominic Picton from Edgeworth, a town west of Newcastle, has recently been given a life-changing opportunity to attend a space camp in the United States. Just 15 years old, Dominic was awarded a scholarship for the Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVS) in Alabama from 28 September – 4 October.
Dominic, who is vision impaired due to Ocular Albinism, has been a client of Guide Dogs since he started school. He is currently in year 10 at Merewether High School, an academic selective school where he has developed a strong interest in science, maths and IT.
The SCIVS scholarship was bought to Dominic’s attention by his support teacher. While he applied for the scholarship last year and was unsuccessful, he was encouraged to apply again for this year’s program. Dominic was successful in winning a Lighthouse Visions Scholarship which covers the fees of the program, as well as travel to and from the airport, lodging and meals. This is sponsored by Lighthouse for the Blind, a non-profit organisation headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.
“I am most looking forward to experiencing a high level of academic understanding with people that share my vision problems,” Dominic said.
“I am absolutely over the moon about getting the scholarship, as I applied last year but wasn’t accepted. It is amazing what I am going to be able to do.”
Approximately 170 students from around the world attend SCIVS, with 21 attending on scholarships. Last year, 16 Australian students attended the camp but this year, Dominic will be the only Aussie.
For more information, please visit www.scivis.org.