Sunday, July 1, 2012

Scholarship for Students with Down Syndrome

An opportunity for those with Down Syndrome to advance their education with the assistance of a scholarship.  Awesome!

O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund

The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund (formerly the Joshua O'Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment Fund) is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in postsecondary educational programs.
The Enrichment Fund was established by the O’Neill and Tabani families in 2005. At the time the Enrichment Fund was established, the Riggio family was working with the National Down Syndrome Society on the creation of innovative postsecondary educational model programs for young adults with Down syndrome. Their support served as the catalyst for the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund. The O’Neill family elected to partner with NDSS because of the creative work that was being pursued in the area of postsecondary education. When the Enrichment Fund was established, Tom O’Neill was serving as Chair of the NDSS Board of Directors.
Joshua O’Neill, a man with Down syndrome, was fortunate to have participated in a postsecondary educational program and he benefited greatly from the experience. Today he lives independently in New Haven, Connecticut. Joshua works part-time, continues to take enrichment classes, participates in an exercise program, has had the same girlfriend for over 12 years, and leads a full and meaningful life. Joshua is very aware of the benefits he received from postsecondary education and it is his wish to share with others as they seek the same opportunity.
Zeshan Tabani grew up in the same community and attended the same neighborhood schools in Fort Wayne, Indiana as Joshua and his younger brother, Noah. With the establishment of the Enrichment Fund, it was Zeshan’s desire to honor his friendship with Joshua and Noah by supporting young adults with Down syndrome who strive to seek enhanced opportunities through postsecondary education. As more individuals with Down syndrome are included in their neighborhood schools and graduating from high school, more and more are continuing to seek postsecondary educational opportunities. Financial assistance is often not available. The Enrichment Fund serves to offer assistance to young men and women with Down syndrome as they pursue their educational goals.
In an effort to continue growing the Enrichment Fund, in 2006 Noah O’Neill and his wife, Ashley, began organizing a yearly fundraiser in Chicago in 2006. This is known as the Dream Big Benefit, and this high profile event attracts more than 300 participants and raises $25,000 annually. Grants up to $5,000 are awarded to applicants who meet the Enrichment Fund's criteria.

Some deserving recipients of the scholarship.

Craig Blackburn
Metairie, LA
Delgado Community College Craig lives independently in a condo that he owns. He works for Magic Seasoning Blends, a company owned by famed chef K. Paul and plans to take Culinary Arts classes at Delgado Community College in New Orleans, LA so one day he can work as a cook for Chef Paul.

Marissa Erickson
Alameda, CA
Marissa graduated from Alameda High School in June 2011. While there she played on the Junior Varsity Basketball team and was voted Homecoming Princess. She takes dances classes and art plays a major part of her life. Marissa is currently taking art classes.

Larry Lane
West Lafayette, IN
Clemson University

Larry plays basketball, softball and bowls in the Special Olympics. He was on his high school’s wrestling team for four years, earning a letter. He works at Pizza Hut and plans to take a class in world history so he can learn about different places around the world. 

Kayla McKeon
North Syracuse, NY
Onondaga Community College

Kayla is an active self-advocate, frequently speaking about disability and related topics. She hopes to become a professional motivational speaker so she can encourage people with disabilities, and so she can make others aware of all the things people with disabilities can do. She is an avid reader, enjoys using computers, and works part-time at the Paparazzi Salon & Day Spa.

Here is a LINK to the application if you know a deserving student.

Be gentle.

1 comment:

  1. Can we still apply for the scholarship. I noticed the date is from 2012.


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