Braille Monitor                                                                  January 1985


Scholarships: Bigger and Better in 1985

In 1984 the National Federation of the Blind dramatically upped the number and size of the scholarships which it awards. The 1985 program will again be substantially increased. Plans have been finalized, and we are ready to go full speed ahead. The Committee for 1985 (their terms expire December 31, 1985) consist of the following seventeen people: Peggy Pinder, Iowa, Chairman; Stephen Benson, Illinois; Jacquilyn Billey, Connecticut; Suzanne Bridges, South Carolina; Charles Brown, Virginia; Joanne Fernandes, Louisiana; Priscilla Ferris, Massachusetts; Bruce Gardner, Arizona; Sharon Gold, California; John Halverson, Virginia; Allen Harris, Michigan; Jim Hudson, Arkansas; Gary Mackenstadt, Washington; Marc Maurer, Maryland; Homer Page, Colorado; Barbara Pierce, Ohio; and Fred Schroeder, New Mexico.

Our Scholarship Application Form (copy reproduced at the end of this article) consists of a single legal-sized page with printing on both sides. We are making an initial printing of thirty thousand of these forms. They will be sent to every college and university in the country, every agency doing work with the blind, every Congressional office, every state president, and every member of the Scholarship Committee. They will also be sent to anyone requesting them. These are worthwhile scholarships, and they can be of real assistance to blind students. Information about our scholarship program should be disseminated as widely as possible. Here is the scholarship form:

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program

Each year the National Federation of the Blind offers a broad array of scholarships. These scholarships are bestowed at the Federation's Annual Convention in early July and are given to blind persons pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time post-secondary course of training or study. We are currently offering the following:

1. American Brotherhood for the Blind Scholarship. A scholarship, in the amount of $6,000, has been endowed by the American Brotherhood for the Blind, a private agency which works to assist blind persons. Applicants for this scholarship must be studying (or planning to study) at the post-secondary level. There is no restriction as to sex, graduate or undergraduate level, or field of study.

2. National Federation of the Blind Merit Scholarships. Twenty of these scholarships (four in the amount of $3,000; nine in the amount of $2,500; and eight in the amount of $500) will be given this year. Applicants for these scholarships must be studying (or planning to study) at the post-secondary level. There is no restriction as to sex, graduate or undergraduate level, or field of study.

3. Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship. This scholarship in the amount of $2,500 this year is awarded annually. Only students in certain fields of study are eligible because the donor of the scholarship wanted to encourage the blind to enter those fields. The scholarship was established by Thomas E. Rickard in honor of his father, Howard Brown Rickard. Any legally blind university student in the professions of law, medicine, engineering, architecture, or the natural sciences, including undergraduates in these fields, is eligible to apply.

4. Hermione Grant Calhoun Scholarships. Two of these scholarships (each in the amount of $2,500 this year) are awarded annually. Dr. Isabelle Grant established the Hermione Grant Calhoun Scholarships in memory of her daughter. These scholarships are awarded to blind female students for education at the college level.

5. Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship in the amount of $1,500 is given annually. This scholarship is given in memory of Melva T.

Owen, who was widely known and loved among the blind. She and her husband Charles Owen became acquainted with increasing numbers of blind people through their work in the "Voicepondence" Club. In the words of Charles Owen, "There shall be no limitation as to field of study, except that it shall be directed towards attaining financial independence, and shall exclude religion and those seeking only to further their general or cultural education." Criteria. All scholarships administered by the Federation are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, service to the community, and financial need.

Membership. The National Federation of the Blind is an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for all blind persons. In furtherance of this goal, we have established our scholarship program. Recipients of Federation scholarships need not be members of the National Federation of the Blind. Deadline. Applications for National Federation of the Blind scholarships must be submitted by March 31 of the year in which the scholarship is to be awarded. Applications for scholarships will be accepted from July 1 through March 31 for scholarships to be awarded in July.

Making Application. To apply for National Federation of the Blind scholarships, complete and return the application on the reverse side of this sheet. Multiple applications are unnecessary. The Scholarship Committee will consider each applicant as a candidate for all scholarships for which he or she qualifies. Please provide all the information requested where applicable to you. Please attach to your application all the additional documents requested on the application. Send the completed application and attachments to: Miss Peggy Pinder, Chairman, National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Committee, 1005 Nebraska Street, Sioux City, Iowa 51105 Reapplication. In the past we have often awarded scholarships to persons who were applying for the second or third time. Applicants must re-submit their applications each year by March 31 to be considered for scholarships to be awarded in July. Persons who have previously applied and who have not been granted scholarships are encouraged to apply again.

Winners. Each year our Scholarship Committee reviews all applications and selects the top candidates as scholarship winners. These winners, the same number of winners as there are scholarships to award, will be notified of their selection as winners by June 1 and will be brought to the National Federation of the Blind convention in July at Federation expense. This is in addition to the scholarship grants. Regardless of precisely which scholarship a winner receives, it is a mark of distinction and an honor to be chosen as a Federation scholarship winner. The winners are America's finest blind students. The Convention is the largest gathering of blind persons (more than 2,000) to occur anywhere in the nation each year. You will be able to meet with other blind students and exchange information and ideas, and you will also be able to meet and talk with blind people who are successfully functioning in your chosen profession or occupation. Federal officials, Congressmen and Senators, and the makers and distributors of new technology attend Federation Conventions. Above all, a broad cross section of the most active segment of the blind population of the United States will be present to discuss common problems, exchange information and ideas, and plan for concerted action. It is an interesting and exciting week.

Awards. The day before the Convention Banquet the Scholarship Committee will meet to determine which winners will receive which scholarships. The scholarship awards will be made during the Banquet.

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Application Form

Please read carefully the reverse side of this form for instructions and an explanation of how the scholarship program works.

To apply for a scholarship, complete this application form, providing all the requested information applicable to you and attaching all the requested documents. Mail the completed application or address any questions to: Miss Peggy Pinder, Chairman, National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Committee, 1005 Nebraska Street, Sioux City, Iowa 51105.

Name (please include any maiden or other names by which you have been known): Date of birth:

School address:

School phone number:

Home address:

Home phone number:

Institution being attended in the spring of making application:

Cumulative grade point average at this institution:

List all post-secondary institutions you have attended, class rank when in attendance, and cumulative grade point average:

High school attended and cumulative grade point:

Vocational goal:

Awards and honors (attach list if necessary):

Community service (attach list if necessary):

Please attach the following documents to your completed application:

1. Applicant's Letter. Along with your application, send us a letter: What schools have you attended? What school do you plan to attend during the coming year? What honors have you achieved? What are you like as a person? What are your goals and aspirations? How will the scholarship help you?

2. Two Letters of Recommendation. 3. Transcripts. Provide a current transcript from the institution you are attending as well as transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. If you have not yet attended an institution of higher learning or have not completed one year of study at such an institution, provide a high school transcript.

4. Letter from Federation Officer. Include a letter from a state officer of the National Federation of the Blind evidencing the fact that you have discussed your scholarship application with that officer. It is preferable but not mandatory that you discuss your application with the State President of the Federation. If you do not have the name and address of the Federation President in your state, we will provide it to you upon request.