Braille Monitor December 2006
This year's scholarship program will be the twenty-fourth since the organization decided 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.
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, named the Kenneth Jernigan Memorial Scholarship, is presented by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults. We will also bring the winners as our guests to the 2007 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 2007 tenBroek Fellows. All current students who were scholarship winners in previous years should take particular note of this program and consider applying for the 2007 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. 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 <[email protected]>; or from the Independence Market, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230 or <[email protected]>. State presidents and members of the 2006 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.