The Braille Monitor                                                                                       November 2002

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The 2003 National Federation of the

Blind Scholarship Program

This year's scholarship program will be the twentieth since the organization determined to expand the number, variety, and value of the scholarships presented each year at our annual convention in July. Assisting the nation's most talented post-secondary students to fulfill their academic and professional dreams is one of the most effective ways for us to demonstrate our conviction that blind people deserve the chance to enter whatever field they demonstrate themselves equipped to succeed in.

Scholarships will be presented this year to thirty college, vocational-school, and graduate students. Again this year the NFB awards will range in value from $3,000 to $10,000. This top scholarship has been named the Kenneth Jernigan Memorial Scholarship and is presented by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. We will, of course, also bring the winners as our guests to the 2003 convention of the National Federation of the Blind to experience firsthand the excitement and stimulation of a gathering of the largest and most dynamic organization of blind people in the country today.

Again we plan to present at least three of the scholarships to students who won scholarship awards in a previous competition. The purpose of these special awards is to nurture in today's students an ongoing commitment to the philosophy and objectives of the Federation. The students so designated will be recognized and honored as the 2003 tenBroek Fellows. All current students who were scholarship winners in previous years should take particular note of this program and consider applying for the 2003 National Federation of the Blind scholarships.

Full-time employees interested in pursuing post-secondary degrees should take a close look at the scholarship form because one award may be given to a part-time student holding down a full-time job.

One additional enhancement of the scholarship program this year is the Freedom Scientific awards, presented by the access-technology company Freedom Scientific, Inc. At least four awards of vouchers redeemable for company products will be presented to members of the scholarship class chosen by the Scholarship Committee.

Every state affiliate and local chapter can help in spreading the word of this extraordinary opportunity for America's blind students. The scholarship application is now available for downloading from the NFB Web site <www.nfb.org>, and forms have been or soon will be mailed to financial aid offices in educational institutions around the country. Many of these will be filed away and forgotten by the time students come to ask about financial assistance. It is very helpful to have local representatives deliver or mail forms to the actual college administrator who works with blind students. Being identified with such a valuable national scholarship program gives the local chapter and state affiliate prestige and respect, and the local touch insures that more blind students will actually have an opportunity to apply for these scholarships.

Anyone can order scholarship forms from the Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230, or <nfbstore@nfb.org>. State presidents and members of the 2003 Scholarship Committee will also be sent scholarship forms. These may be copied as long as both sides of the form are reproduced. Please do what you can to spread the word about this program.

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