Local Organization Offers Scholarships for Students with Down Syndrome

By Staff

Piedmont Down Syndrome Support Network (PDSSN) announced it will begin to award up to two $500 scholarships each year to help deserving high school students with Down syndrome pursue their dreams to receive college educations. The first award(s) will be made this year.

pdssnThese awards are for educational purposes only and will be paid directly to the college or university. PDSSN President Bill Donohue said the hope is that this effort will grow over time. “We’re pleased to continue our advocacy for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities as they expand boundaries all across North Carolina. With nearly a dozen collegiate options now available for people with Down syndrome, we want to be there to champion the young adults in our region as they pursue dreams none of us could have imagined a generation ago.”

The effort to create college programs for North Carolina students with Down syndrome began in 2005 and PDSSN members were at the forefront of this endeavor. Ten years later, there are four private and public programs – some accredited – across the state including the first, Beyond Academics, started in 2004 at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. There are other programs in various stages of development and some even include residential options.

To be eligible for a PDSSN scholarship, an applicant must have Down syndrome, is a high school graduate and formally admitted to one of the certificate or degree-granting colleges or universities in North Carolina. An applicant should be from the Piedmont area of North Carolina. While an applicant may apply more than once, they cannot receive consecutive year awards. At the end of their scholarship year, an applicant is expected to share their experiences at a PDSSN meeting or program to help make others aware of the opportunity. An applicant also may be asked, but is not obligated, to assist with scholarship fund raising or other PDSSN events.

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Applications are being accepted from now through the end of May and may be found on PDSSN’s website at http://bit.ly/PDSSN-Post-Secondary-Scholarship and sent to dana.pdssn@gmail.com or bdonohue@triad.rr.com.

For information about other PDSSN news, events and services, go to www.PDSSN.org.