Apply for 2021 NFB Idaho and National Scholarships
The National Federation of the Blind of Idaho (NFBI), awards merit based scholarships to blind/visually impaired, functionally blind, high school seniors or college students annually. Students who are blind/Visually impaired, or receiving services from the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ICBVI), attending an accredited college or university the academic school year beginning fall semester 2021 are urged to apply. There will be up to three (3) merit based scholarships: $1,000, $1,500, and $2,500 awarded at the state convention of the NFBI, March 25 through 27, 2021, in Boise, Idaho, or online via the Zoom meeting platform if pandemic conditions require. Scholarship finalists will have their expenses paid to attend the in person event and are required to attend the convention whether the mode is in person or online.
Please Note individuals are limited to receiving an NFBI scholarship a maximum of two (2), times.
The scholarship application can be found at http://www.nfbidaho.org/scholarship
All Application materials should be emailed to scholarships.NFBID@gmail.com.
The following required Items must accompany each application:
- A completed NFBI Scholarship application form.
- A 700-word essay.
NFBI scholarships are merit based and are awarded based on scholastic achievement, financial need, and service to the community. In preparing your essay, please keep in mind that committee members and decision-makers are all successful blind professionals. Take some time to think how you personally can convey your best qualities in your own words. This is an advocacy job; the committee members will note how you choose to do it.
Please also keep in mind that the awards are restricted to blind/Visually Impaired, and functionally blind persons, so the committee will be interested in what techniques and approaches you personally practice concerning your blindness.
- Two letters of recommendation.
Letters of recommendation must be emailed directly to the committee (scholarships.NFBID@gmail.com) by the person making the recommendation.
Recommendation letters from family members are not accepted.
Provide a current transcript from the education institution you are currently attending and transcripts from all other institutions attended.
Please email transcripts to scholarships.NFBID@gmail.com. Transcripts sent via email which require access codes and have an expiration date are not accepted as the Committee works without staff and such transcripts often expire before they have been reviewed and printed.
If you have not yet attended such an institution or have not yet completed one year of study, send a copy of your high school transcript.
- Proof of blindness or vision impairment signed by a doctor, VR counselor from the ICBVI, or another qualified professional from a recognized agency providing services to blind/visually impaired, and functionally blind individuals.
No application will be considered without this certification.
- Interview with NFBI State President.
Applicants must contact NFBI State President, Dana Ard, at
(208) 345-3906, or email pres.NFBIdaho@gmail.com, to schedule an interview.
All application materials must be emailed to scholarships.NFBID@gmail.com and received no later than 11:59 PM, March 1, 2021.
President Ard and the scholarship committee look forward to hearing from you.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), is a non-profit organization of blind people who are working to make life better for other blind people. You can receive funding from the Idaho Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and still qualify for a scholarship from the NFB, both state and national.
There will be thirty scholarships awarded nationally ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 plus an expense paid trip to the NFB National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. President Ard will be happy to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf after she has had a chance to talk with you. The deadline for the national application is March 31, 2021.
National applications may be completed online at www.nfb.org/scholarships.
We know that blind college students need extra money for specialized equipment and technology, travel, reader service and other necessities. This is an opportunity for blind students to receive funds with no strings attached. The expense paid trip to the national or state convention may be just as important as the scholarship award itself. Past winners have told us that meeting other blind people and finding an advocacy organization which works to improve opportunities for the blind and visually impaired can be just as important as the scholarship itself. We urge you to apply.
NFBI Scholarship Committee,
National Federation of the Blind of Idaho
“The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; Blindness is not what holds you back.”
NFB National Scholarships
Federation of the Blind’s annual scholarship program is the largest of its kind in the nation.
Every year, we award more than $120,000 to blind scholars across the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in recognition of their achievements and professional aspirations.
Ten years ago I unexpectedly lost my sight after graduating from college. My journey since then has included teaching myself how to read Braille, volunteering with seniors, providing health education to youth in a clinic, and most recently leading a team in a statewide program addressing the opioid epidemic. With a master’s in public health from UC Berkeley, I plan to improve accessibility and promote equity within healthcare systems and in health policy. Thank you so much for this opportunity and investment in my future. — Sherry Pablo, 2020 Scholarship Finalist
Thanks to our generous partners, there are thirty merit-based scholarships currently available, ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. All scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, community service, and leadership. The finalists are announced every spring. They then attend our national convention in July when the winners of each individual scholarship are selected. Scholarship winners have gone on to succeed in careers ranging from computer science and engineering to civil rights law and international diplomacy.
How to Apply
Apply online using our online application. The online application will close at midnight Eastern Time March 31, 2021.
The following requirements apply to all applicants:
- Must be legally blind (PDF) in both eyes.
- Must be residing in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.
- Must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, post-secondary course of study in a degree program at a U.S. institution in the fall of the year of application (one scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time).
- Must participate in the entire NFB National Convention and in all of its scheduled scholarship program activities (finalists will receive assistance to attend the national convention).
For more information regarding eligibility, we strongly encourage you to review our scholarship program FAQs.
NFB/HumanWare STEM Internship Opportunity
HumanWare is a leading assistive technology company that designs and manufactures products to help blind people participate equally in society. Due to the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, this internship opportunity has changed. This year, HumanWare will offer each of two winning candidates one new Brailliant BI40 and $1,000 to be used toward tuition fees. If you are a technically minded student with aspirations of a career in product testing and/or marketing, we invite you to fill out an additional application for the HumanWare/NFB STEM award.
To apply, check the checkbox on the first page of the online application that says, “Yes, I would like to complete an additional application for the 2021 HumanWare internship.” Once you have checked this box, you will continue to complete the NFB scholarship application. However, before you submit the application, there will be an additional page where you will be given an opportunity to complete the HumanWare award application. For more information, please review our scholarship program FAQs.
- Scholarship Program FAQs
- Scholarship Program Application Checklist
- “Self-Advocacy in Higher Education” (Word) by NFB President Mark A. Riccobono
- College Scholarships and Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities (via Affordable Colleges Online)
Past NFB Scholarship Winners
- 2020 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2019 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2018 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2017 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2016 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2015 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2014 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2013 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2012 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
- 2011 Winners (Braille Monitor, August-September)
Read about more winners in past issues the Braille Monitor. Scholarship classes are typically highlighted in the August-September issue every year.
For more information about the scholarship program, please contact our scholarship committee chairperson (email is preferred).
Cayte Mendez, Chairperson
NFB Scholarship Committee
Phone: 410-659-9314, extension 2415
NFB Scholarship Program
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230