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Arizona Blind & Deaf Children's Foundation
3957 E. Speedway Blvd., Ste. 208
Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: 520-577-3700

Project SENA

SENA Scholars

Project SENA is proud to share our scholars, their experience and plans for the future.

2017 SENA Scholar


Nicole Begay, 2017 Sena ScholarMs. Nicole Begay - Hello I'm a Navajo lady at 28 years young from Nazlini, AZ currently residing in Ahwatukee, AZ and to be granted the opportunity to train and to be given all the resources to give back to our Native people has never been such an honor. When a patient sees well after a visit it 'feels' good - a personal warm glow that tells him/her once again what being an ophthalmic assistant/ophthalmologist is. This pleasure never dulls with age or time, but remains vital and strong after decades of practice. Becoming an ophthalmic assistant is acquiring this ability to help patients feel and see better. It is one of the most precious skills one can acquire in a lifetime. I have never regretted going in this direction in medicine to help one see all the beauty life has. Medicine is a calling. It is more than a business. One can make money doing other things. But I chose medicine - ophthalmic assistant is where I wish to begin my journey because it combined a quest for knowledge with a way to serve, to save lives, and to alleviate suffering. This is why I chose to become/pursue the opportunity to be an ophthalmic assistant.

2015 SENA Scholars

Tyler English, 2015 SENA ScholarMs. Tyler English - Hello, I am 20 years old and live on the Navajo Reservation in Chinle Arizona. I am very interested in becoming an ophthalmic assistant because my mother works in the optometry department where we live. I find eye care extremely interesting an I can see myself being an optometrist or opthomologist in my future and never getting bored with it. I think I can become a great eye care professional by taking this course at Maricopa Skills Center, and I will be 100% dedicated to the course.

Yevonne Biakeddy, 2015 SENA ScholarMs. Yevonne Biakeddy - I am a 33 year old Navajo residing in Mesa, AZ. I am originally from Tsaile, AZ which is located near the Four Corners area. I have been in the Ophthalmology field for 8 years working as a front desk agent. Being at the front desk you are limited to how much help you can give to help a patient. When I was informed of the Ophthalmic Assistant Program, I was excited to apply and begin the steps to become a COA. From the knowledge I receive I hope to use that to help people and my own people on the reservation to better understand the importance of general eye health, so they could have their sight for as long as possible. I would really like to see how far I am able to go in the Ophthalmology field. I hope to make my fellow Navajos proud with all the educational knowledge I am able to relay back to them in the years to come. I am really looking forward to what is planned to come in the future. Thank you, Project SENA for offering the Ophthalmic Assistant Program.

2014 SENA Scholars

Ciara Wolf, 2014 SENA ScholarMs. Ciara Wolf - I am an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community from District 1. and was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I am 22-years-old and am the mother of a beautiful 2-year-old boy. During my free time I enjoy spending time with my son and family. I decided to pursue the healthcare field because I have a strong desire to help others. My education and employment goal is to complete the Ophthalmic Assistant Program and become certified. Due to the strong support and assistance to pursue my career, I would love to return to Gila River Health Care and provide services for my community. I feel that through this opportunity, it will provide me the foundation to make great strides in my life and future endeavors.

Cody Joe, 2014 SENA SchoalrMr. Cody Joe - Hello! I am 20-years-old from the Gila River Indian Community and I love the sciences. I am interested in becoming a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant in order to help my fellow community members who may be suffering from eye diseases - especially those with diabetic eye diseases. Upon graduation, I plan to return to my community to work with the local eye care professionals and hope to launch awareness and education programs that address diabetes and its relationship to maintaining healthy vision. 


 Update on our 2014 SENA Scholars

Congratulations Graduates!

Cody Joe and Ciara Wolf, 2014 Sena Scholars

Project SENA is proud to announce the graduation of its first two SENA Scholars - Cody Joe and Ciara Wolf. The graduation, held at Maricopa Skills Center, graduated students in the fields of Beauty & Wellness, Trades and Healthcare.

Cody and Ciara expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Project SENA, the Gila River Workforce and all who supported them. Upon graduation, Cody and Ciara proudly said, "Thank you so much for everything you have done for us. We appreciate it more than you know. Thank you, Thank you!"

Cody and Ciara were two Ophthalmic Assistants graduating under the healthcare field. Both are very happy and excited and are looking forward to their new careers and paths in life. Ciara secured a job with Phoenix Ophthalmologists and Cody is looking to return to Gila River to work within his community, serving his tribe members and elders.

Congratulations to Cody and Ciara!!!!