The Braille Monitor December 2005
The 2006 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program
Images are a Selection of Past Scholarship Winners: Many NFB scholarship winners have become distinguished leaders in both their communities and the Federation.
Carlos Serván won NFB scholarships in both 1992 and 1995. He is pictured here on the 1995 Banquet dais with Dr. Jernigan and President Maurer. Carlos has served as president of the NFB of Nebraska and a member of the NFB board of directors. He continues to be a Federation leader in Nebraska and across the nation. He earned both a law degree and an MBA and today serves as director of the adult training center at the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
This year's scholarship program will be the twenty-third 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 postsecondary 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.
Pam Dubel Allen, director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind, president of the NFB of Louisiana, and member of the NFB board of directors, won the top scholarship presented by the NFB at its annual convention in 1991. She is pictured here with Kenneth Jernigan (left) and President Maurer (right).
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 $12,000. 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 2006 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
2006 tenBroek Fellows. All current students who were scholarship winners in
previous years should take particular note of this program and consider applying
for the 2006 National Federation of the Blind scholarships.
Full-time employees interested in pursuing postsecondary 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.
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.
In 1988 Mildred Rivera received the top NFB scholarship. She is pictured here with NFB President Marc Maurer. Today Mildred is a member of the NFB of Maryland board of directors, a member of the National Association of Blind Lawyers board, and an attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, serving as special assistant to EEOC Chair Cari Dominguez on the New Freedom Initiative.
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 Peggy Elliott, 805 5th Avenue, Grinnell, Iowa 50112-1653, phone, (641) 236-3366, or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>; or from the Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 or <email@example.com>. State presidents and members of the 2005 Scholarship Committee will also be sent scholarship forms. These may be copied as long as all sides of the form are reproduced. Please do what you can to spread the word about this program.