Future Reflections                                                                                Convention Report 2004

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National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Application Form

Please read all pages of the program rules and instruction. This form may be photocopied but only if accompanying pages of the program rules and instructions are 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, 2005.

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: _____________________________________________________

Email address: ___________________________________________________________

Institution being attended in spring semester, 2005, with class standing (freshman, senior, etc.):


Cumulative grade point at this institution: ______________________________________

Institution to be attended in the fall of 2005, 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: _______________________________


For High School Seniors Only:         College Admission Composite Test Scores

SAT _________________      ACT ___________________

Note: Please attach copies of all score reports as requested in number five of the list of attachments.

Vocational goal: __________________________________________________________

State your major: _________________________________________________________

Awards and honors (attach list if necessary): ___________________________________


Community service (attach list if necessary): ___________________________________


Please see the following list of required attachments. If you received only this portion of the application form, 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 postsecondary 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 office at (641) 236-3366 for this information. If you live in one state and attend school in another, you may contact either state president.

5. Score Reports (for high school seniors only). Please attach a copy of your score reports for all standardized tests taken for college admission. Copies are acceptable; there is no need to attach official reports.


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 fulltime, postsecondary course of study in a degree program at a United States institution in the fall of 2005, except that one scholarship may be given to a fulltime employee also attending school part-time. In addition, some scholarships have been further restricted by the donor. Each applicant will be considered for all scholarships for which he or she qualifies. The scholarship application deadline is March 31, 2005. Scholarships to be given at the National Convention in 2005 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 people, 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 people. 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.


Charles and Melva T. Owen Memorial Scholarship—First established by Charles Owen in loving memory of his blind wife and now endowed by his last will and testament to honor the memory of both. In founding the scholarship, Charles Owen wrote: “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.”


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


Hank LeBonne Scholarship—Hank LeBonne was a man who loved life and loved the National Federation of the Blind. His last wish was that his remaining assets be used to help young blind men and women have the same opportunities in life he enjoyed. No additional restrictions.

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.

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 requiring study abroad. The winner’s file must also show evidence of competence in a foreign language.

Sally S. Jacobsen Scholarship—Endowed in loving memory of a long-time New York State leader by her husband Carl and family and by many others who wish to commemorate Sally’s indomitable spirit; education (education of disabled youth preferred); no additional restrictions.


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.

Sixteen National Federation of the Blind Scholarships—No additional restrictions.

All scholarships awarded to blind women which are not otherwise endowed are made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Dorothy R. Olson.

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

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

REAPPLICATION: 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.

WINNERS: 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 Saturday, July 2, 2005. All decisions by the Scholarship Committee are final.

The National Federation of the Blind convention is the largest gathering of blind people (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.

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.

OTHER SCHOLARSHIPS: Many state affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind also award scholarships, using eligibility criteria identical to or very similar to the standards for this national program. Check with your state president about deadlines, criteria, and levels of scholarships.

ENHANCEMENTS TO THE NATIONAL PROGRAM: Each year, generous donors add to the amounts listed here, sometimes for all winners and sometimes for a few. Check on the NFB Web site, www.nfb.org, to determine if enhancements have been added after this form was printed.

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