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The Braille Monitor,  November 2001 EditionThis is a line.

The 2002 National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program

This year’s scholarship program will be the nineteenth 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. In 1999 we again expanded the scope and value of the scholarship awards. This decision reflects the Board of Directors’ recognition of the importance and impact of the scholarship program. 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 2002 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 2002 tenBroek Fellows. All current students who were scholarship winners in previous years should take particular note of this program and consider applying for the 2002 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. Ten awards of vouchers redeemable for company products will be presented to members of the scholarship class chosen by the Scholarship Committee. See the scholarship form for details.

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 Website, 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 <[email protected]>. State Presidents and members of the 2002 Scholarship Committee will also be sent scholarship forms. These may be copied as long as both sides of the form are reproduced.

Here is the text of the 2002 National Federation of the Blind scholarship application form:

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Application Form

Read reverse side of form for instructions and explanation.  Form may be photocopied but only if reverse side is also included.

To apply for a scholarship, complete this application form and mail completed application and attachments to: Mrs. Peggy Elliott, Chairman, National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Committee, 805 Fifth Avenue, Grinnell, Iowa 50112; (641) 236-3366.  Form must be received by March 31, 2002.

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 spring semester, 2002, with class standing (freshman, senior, etc.):

 Cumulative grade point at this institution:

Institution to be attended in the fall of 2002, with class standing.  Send by separate letter if admitted to school after submitting completed application:

List all postsecondary institutions attended with highest class standing attained and cumulative GPA:

High school attended and cumulative grade point:

Vocational goal:

State your major:         

Awards and honors (attach list if necessary):

Community service (attach list if necessary):

Please see next page for a list of required attachments.  If you received only this page, please request complete application and rules from the above address or www.nfb.org.

Fill out the application and attach the following documents or arrange to have them sent to the Scholarship Committee:

1. Personal Letter from Applicant.  NFB scholarships are awarded on the basis of scholastic excellence, financial need, and community service.  In preparing your personal letter, keep in mind that the committee members are all successful blind college graduates.  Consider how you can most effectively convey your best qualities.  Since the awards are restricted to blind people, the committee will be interested in the techniques and approaches you use.  Almost all blind students have financial need.  Committee members will assume basic need, so you may choose merely to refer to this topic unless your need is unusual.

2. Two letters of recommendation.

3. Current transcript from institution now attending and transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions attended.  If you have not yet attended such an institution or have not completed one year of study, send high school transcript.

4. Letter from a Federation state President or designee. The Federation has affiliates in every state. Some state Presidents write the letters personally; others assign them to officers and board members.  Federation state Presidents and their designees are volunteers.  Many take messages and then return calls in evenings or on weekends.  They will wish to speak with applicants personally; parents or school officials may help set up appointments but cannot do the actual interviews.   Most state Presidents and their designees send scholarship letters directly to the Scholarship Committee, where they are added to the student’s file along with transcripts and other materials mailed separately.  Applicants should mail materials to the Scholarship Committee and should check that the interviewer’s letter is sent.  If you do not know the name or phone number of your state President, call the scholarship chairman for this information.  If you live in one state and attend school in another, you may contact either state President.


Each year at its National Convention in July, the NFB gives a broad array of scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars.  All applicants for these scholarships must be (1) legally blind and (2) pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time postsecondary course of study in the fall semester of 2002, in the United States, except that one scholarship may be given to a full-time employee also attending school part-time.  In addition, some scholarships have been further restricted by the donor.  Scholarships to be given at the National Convention in 2002 are listed with special restrictions noted:


Kenneth Jernigan Scholarship - Given by the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, a nonprofit organization which works to assist blind persons, in memory of the man who changed perceptions regarding the capabilities of the blind in this country and throughout the world.  Kenneth Jernigan is viewed by our field as the most important figure in the 20th century in the lives of blind persons.  The Action Fund wishes to keep fresh and current in the 21st century the understandings he brought to the field and thus has endowed this scholarship dedicated to his memory and to the continuation of the work he began.  No additional restrictions.


Two National Federation of the Blind Scholarships - No additional restrictions.

Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship - Given in memory of Melva T. Owen, who was widely known and loved among the blind.  She and husband Charles Owen became acquainted with many blind people through their work in the “Voicepondence” Club.  Charles Owen says: “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 general or cultural education.”


Jennica Ferguson Memorial Scholarship - Given to keep alive the memory of a young woman who dealt with her blindness and terminal illness with a grace and strength she frequently assured others she drew from the Federation and from her faith in God.  No additional restrictions.

Three National Federation of the Blind Scholarships - No additional restrictions.


Michael and Marie Marucci Scholarship - Given by two dedicated and valued members of the NFB of Maryland. The winner of this scholarship must be studying a foreign language or comparative literature; pursuing a degree in history, geography, or political science with a concentration in international studies; or majoring in any other discipline that involves study abroad.  The winner’s file must also show evidence of competence in a foreign language.

Lora E. Dunetz Scholarship - No additional restrictions but preference will be given to those studying to enter the medical field, work in which has meant so much to Lora Dunetz, who intends this scholarship to assist the winner in achieving a lifetime of employment through higher education.

Hermione Grant Calhoun Scholarship - Dr. Isabelle Grant endowed this scholarship in memory of her daughter.  Winner must be a woman.

Kuchler-Killian Memorial Scholarship - Given in loving memory of her parents, Charles Albert Kuchler and Alice Helen Kuchler, by Junerose Killian, dedicated member of the NFB of Connecticut.  No additional restrictions.

E. U. Parker Scholarship - Endowed by his wife, who joined him in a lifetime of Federationism, this scholarship honors a long-time leader of the National Federation of the Blind whose participation stood for strong principles and strong support of the Federation’s work.  No additional restrictions.

Howard Brown Rickard Scholarship - Winner must be studying or planning to study in the fields of law, medicine, engineering, architecture, or the natural sciences.

National Federation of the Blind Computer Science Scholarship - Winner must be studying in the computer science field.

National Federation of the Blind Educator of Tomorrow Award - Winner must be planning a career in elementary, secondary, or postsecondary teaching.

National Federation of the Blind Humanities Scholarship - Winner must be studying in the traditional humanities such as art, English, foreign languages, history, philosophy, or religion.

Thirteen National Federation of the Blind Scholarships - No further restrictions, except that one may be given to a candidate working full-time who is attending or planning to attend a part-time course of study which will result in a new degree and broader opportunities in present or future work.

Freedom Scientific Awards - Freedom Scientific, maker of many hardware and software products for the blind, will give vouchers to ten students chosen by the NFB to purchase Freedom Scientific products. In addition to their Federation scholarships ten of the thirty NFB scholarship winners will receive vouchers from Freedom Scientific,  five for $2,500, and five for $1,500 in Freedom Scientific products. Freedom Scientific voucher winners must first be eligible for National Federation of the Blind scholarships and then be chosen as winners.  Applicants for Federation scholarships who wish to compete for these Freedom Scientific vouchers should include a section in their personal letters explaining how a voucher would help them achieve their aspirations.


All scholarships are awarded for academic excellence, community service, and financial need.


The National Federation of the Blind is an organization dedicated to creating opportunity for all blind persons.  Recipients of NFB scholarships need not be members of the National Federation of the Blind.


To apply for National Federation of the Blind scholarships, complete and return this application, attaching to the application all the additional documents requested on page two.  Multiple applications are unnecessary.  Each applicant will be considered for all scholarships for which he or she qualifies.  Send completed applications to Mrs. Peggy Elliott, Chairman, National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Committee, 805 Fifth Avenue, Grinnell, Iowa 50112; (641) 236-3366.  Form must be received by March 31, 2002.


Those who have previously applied are encouraged to apply again.  It is the intention of the NFB to award at least three scholarships to men and women who have already received one Federation scholarship in the past if enough strong and worthy candidates apply.


The Scholarship Committee reviews all applications and selects the scholarship winners.  These winners, the same number as there are scholarships to award, will be notified of the selection by telephone 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 grant.  Winners will participate in the entire convention and in the scheduled scholarship program activities, beginning with functions on Wednesday, July 3, 2002.  All decisions by the Scholarship Committee are final.

The National Federation of the Blind convention is the largest gathering of blind persons (more than 2,500) to occur anywhere in the nation each year.  You will be able to meet other blind students and exchange information and ideas.  You will also be able to meet and talk with blind people who are successfully functioning in your chosen profession or occupation.  Federal officials, members of Congress, 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 U.S. will be present to discuss common problems and plan for concerted action.  It is an interesting and exciting week.


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.



Planned giving takes place when a contributor decides to leave a substantial gift to charity. It means planning as you would for any substantial purchase—a house, college tuition, or a car.

The most common forms of planned giving are wills and life insurance policies. There are also several planned giving options through which you can simultaneously give a substantial contribution to the National Federation of the Blind, obtain a tax deduction, and receive lifetime income now or in the future.

For more information write or call the National Federation of the Blind, Special Gifts, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4998, (410) 659-9314, fax (410) 685-5653.


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