This year's scholarship program will be the seventeenth 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. You will note that this is an increase of four scholarships available through the National Federation of the Blind. The decision to increase the scope and value of the scholarships awarded by the NFB reflects the Board of Directors' recognition of the importance and impact of the scholarship program. In celebration of the arrival of the twenty-first century, the NFB awards this year will range in value from $3,000 to $21,000. 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 2000 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.
Also in honor of the life and work of our beloved leader, Kenneth Jernigan, Dr. Raymond Kurzweil will again this year present scholarships in the amount of $1,000 to each winner, along with the software and scanner to use the Kurzweil 1000, the superb scanning and reading system created by the Kurzweil Educational Group. This generous gift increases the value of each of the 2000 scholarships by an additional $2,500.
Again this year we plan to present up to 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 2000 tenBroek Fellows. All current students who were scholarship winners in previous years should take particular note of this program and consider applying for the 2000 National Federation of the Blind scholarships.
Full-time employees interested in pursuing post-secondary degrees should take a close look at the scholarship form. Now one award may be given to a part-time student holding down a full-time job.
Anyone can order scholarship forms from the Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. State Presidents and members of the 2000 Scholarship Committee will also be sent scholarship forms. These may be copied as long as both sides of the form are reproduced. Good luck!
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