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From Harm to Home Scholarship

Dr. Angela Nicolini has lived in Abilene since 1995. She credits being overwhelmingly embraced by the people of this community for the success of her optometry practice. 

For 16 years, she provided eye care for her patients in and around Taylor County before retiring and pursuing a path in teaching. She became an adjunct professor of Biology at Hardin Simmons University in 2012, and for 8½ years she enjoyed her second career immensely. 

To Dr. Nicolini, education is the key to the path to success. 

In 2014, Dr. Nicolini decided she wanted to aid the refugees whom she observed to be working diligently to build a better life, while benefiting her adopted city. 

She is thrilled to be the founder of the ‘From Harm to Home’ Scholarship to benefit those who have escaped persecution and strife in their homelands, and who provide such great services in Abilene - usually from behind the scenes. 

The main requirements are that the scholarship must go to a refugee who is here on I94 status and will attend an educational institution in Abilene, Texas.


  • Have arrived in the United States within the past 5 years.
  • Be able to prove refugee status. 
  • Must speak fluent English. 
  • Planning to attend a two- or four-year local college/university such as Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University, Texas Tech-Abilene Campus, Cisco College (Abilene), or TSTC.