[Nfbc-info] {Spam?} {Disarmed} Fwd: National Federation of the Blind Newsletter - NFB Scholarships Open Doors to Education

EverHairston ever.hairston at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 10:19:47 UTC 2017

Ever Lee Hairston, President
National Federation of the Blind of California
H: 323 654.2975
C: 323 252.9188
ever.hairston at gmail.com

You Can Live The Life You Want

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind " <IOF at nfb.org>
Date: February 17, 2017 at 3:17:15 PM EST
To: Ever Lee Hairston <ever.hairston at gmail.com>
Subject: National Federation of the Blind Newsletter - NFB Scholarships Open  Doors to Education
Reply-To: "Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind " <IOF at nfb.org>

View this newsletter on the web.




Imagineering Our Future

  Issue 94

February 2017  

Message from the President

National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program History

National Federation of the Blind National Scholarships Today

Call to Action: What Can You Do to Help?

News from around the Federation

Message from the President

Dear Friend:

For many years I had a poster in my office of John F. Kennedy and his baby boy. The poster included the quote "a child miseducated is a child lost." I appreciated the sentiment on a number of different levels. One of which is that it begs the question: what happens when we create opportunities for education? In the National Federation of the Blind we create educational opportunities for blind people every day by raising expectations and breaking down artificial barriers. We also create opportunities by making a real tangible investment in education.

The National Federation of the Blind scholarship program is the largest of its kind for blind people in the United States. It embodies our raised expectations and our philosophy that blind people can live the lives they want; blindness does not hold us back. Scholarship winners become all that they can be because we provide not only financial support but also mentoring by a dynamic, loving network of blind people who challenge other blind people to raise their own expectations. To be an NFB scholarship winner is a distinction that is widely recognized, and there are hundreds of outstanding blind people across the country who have benefited from being a winner and getting connected with the network that is the Federation. Equally as significant is the benefit we all receive from learning about these blind scholars who are pursuing their dreams—often careers that many had not thought possible. Standing on the past work of the Federation and the groundwork laid by other blind leaders, our scholarship finalists are reaching for new heights and inspiring us in the circle of mentoring that is our organization.

I did not win an NFB scholarship, but as a result of my exposure to our winners I have achieved more than I would have alone. They helped me to believe that I could succeed academically, professionally, and personally. I look forward to meeting our scholarship class each year and learning what they bring to the diversity of perspectives within our movement. We know that as blind people we must overcome low expectations, both those held by society and by ourselves, and by their example our scholarship winners help to bring that lesson home.
Your contributions help make scholarships and the mentoring that goes along with them happen. I gave a presentation to a group of parents of blind children not long ago. In speaking on behalf of the Federation, I told them that their children are our children—that as an organization of and for blind people, we work daily to make sure they have greater opportunities. One mom yelled out, "Does that mean you are paying for them to go to college?" Although the remark was meant to be funny, I was pleased that I could say, "Yes, we are providing that opportunity through the most dynamic scholarship program for blind people."

Thank you for your role in helping our children live the lives they want—lives built on a strong foundation of education, love, hope, and determination through the National Federation of the Blind.


Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind


National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program History

The National Federation of the Blind has long been dedicated to helping blind people overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams. One of the ways that the Federation empowers blind people to live the lives they want is by recognizing the achievements of blind scholars. Since 1965 the NFB has been granting merit-based college scholarships to blind students living and studying in the United States (and in Puerto Rico since 1992). The year 2017 marks the fifty-second anniversary of this long-standing and important program, which to date has awarded over nine hundred scholarships and distributed over $3 million dollars.

Over the years, the program has grown to become one of the most coveted suite of scholarships available to blind students, receiving over five hundred applications last year; but like most programs, it started small. In 1965 there were two scholarships for up to $300 per student awarded, which would be equivalent to receiving $2,274 in 2016. The first scholarship application asked for nothing more than the student’s transcripts and a 250-word statement on why they were applying and how the scholarship would help them achieve their goals. No proof of blindness was requested. As the program developed more scholarships were added, the amounts the Federation awarded grew, and both the application requirements and the competition increased.

In 2016 the NFB awarded $124,000 in scholarships, with amounts ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 per student. Awards are based on academic achievement and leadership potential. Since 1971 these qualities have been evaluated through attendance at the NFB’s annual convention, where winners get to interact with blind attendees and receive mentoring opportunities with the scholarship committee members, all of whom are blind themselves. The committee uses these interactions to make the final determination of which student will receive each award. And while many Federation leaders have been former winners, membership has never been a requirement for applying or winning an NFB scholarship.

Now the NFB Scholarship Program annually provides thirty scholars, ranging from high school seniors to graduate students, with the ability to make their education goals a reality. Many of their stories are chronicled in the pages of the Braille Monitor, the flagship publication of the Federation. Some scholarships are donated by people in memory of a deceased loved one, some by NFB members, and some are funded by entities wishing to contribute to the educational success of blind students.

National Federation of the Blind National Scholarships Today

The 2017 scholarship application season is open now. The National Federation of the Blind will award thirty

Laura Etori

scholarships on July 15, 2017, at the annual banquet that culminates the NFB National Convention. More than $100,000 is awarded each year.

Winners’ goals are wide ranging. Members of the 2016 class aspired to become an actuary, research scientist, educator, attorney, and biochemist, just to name a few. Listen to the 2016 winners present during national convention from the NFB website. One scholarship winner, Jameyanne Fuller, introduced herself by saying, “I spent a year teaching English in Assisi, Italy, on a Fulbright scholarship, and then I spent another year volunteering for the New Hampshire Disability Rights Center. This year I will be a first-year law student at Harvard Law School. I am very interested in studying and hopefully practicing in the area of disability law and policy. This is my very first NFB Convention experience. I want to say thank you so much to everyone who has welcomed me so warmly and enthusiastically.” Read what all of our 2016 winners had to say in the Braille Monitor article.

Deanna Greco

Past winners tell us that the national convention experience affords higher value than the money. “Imagine a place where there are 2,500 people using white canes and guide dogs, a place where the sighted person in the room is in the minority, a place where you feel accepted, loved, and supported. I found this place at the National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention. I was fortunate enough to be one of the NFB’s 2016 scholarship winners.” Read more in "National Convention Reflections" by Deanna Greco and Laura Etori in the Fall 2016 edition of The Sounding Board.



Call to Action: What Can You Do to Help?

Please share the link to NFB scholarships, https://nfb.org/scholarships. Anyone who is legally blind and will be enrolled in a degree program in the fall of 2017 should apply.




News from around the Federation

Independence Market: You can now purchase a version of the KNFB Reader that allows installation of this revolutionary product across platforms.
The Jacobus tenBroek Library reviews the myriad ways to access the collection and provides an updated overview of the collection.
Our NFB BELL Academies provide the foundation for our children to become high achievers.
Congratulations go out to those who recently obtained National Library Service Certificates.
Please remember to check out our calendar of upcoming events.

Thank you for reading Imagineering Our Future.



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National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
United States
(410) 659-9314 

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