The Down Syndrome Alabama nonprofit, based in Hoover, is now accepting applications for college scholarship money for people with Down syndrome who are seeking to enroll in a post-secondary education program.
The idea is to help pay for programs that help people with Down syndrome enhance their life through employment skills, independent living or life skills, or other areas of interest.
The Jake Pratt Scholarship Fund is sponsored by UPS, which awarded Down Syndrome Alabama a $25,000 grant last year in honor of Pratt, a 2018 Vestavia Hill High School alumnus who completed a post-secondary education program at Clemson University and went to work for UPS.
Scholarship applicants must:
- Have Down syndrome
- Be at least 18 years old or turn 18 by July 1 of the application year
- Intend to enroll or continue enrollment in an inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) program at an accredited institute of higher education that supports students with intellectual disability
- Provide copies of a high school diploma or equivalent, a high school transcript if graduating in the spring of the application year or a letter of acceptance or continuing enrollment in an IPSE program
- Provide two letters of recommendation and any supporting documentation, such as artwork, videos, awards, pictures, employment history, advocacy efforts and extracurricular activities. However, submissions will not be returned.
The scholarship funds must be applied toward tuition. The money can only be used for housing, food or transportation if those costs are already included as part of the IPSE programming fees. Separate payments will not be made for such accommodations, and all funds will be paid directly to the institute of higher education, not to the individuals or families.
Down Syndrome Alabama will award up to three scholarships of varying amounts, together totaling $5,000, and all scholarship money must be used within one year.
Applications are due by April 8 and can be obtained at downsyndromealabama.org/dsa-jake-pratt-scholarship-fund/.
Read more about Pratt in this January 2021 story by the Vestavia Voice.