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The Gwendolyne Hawley Trust Scholarship Award Program

The Gwendolyne Hawley Trust Scholarship Award Program is designed to assist deserving post-secondary students who are blind or visually impaired with their education. Students are selected for the awards based on a variety of factors that indicate their high potential to make our investment in their future a worthwhile venture.

The Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB) and its foundation, the KC Blind All-Stars, are responsible for distributing the Gwendolyne Hawley Trust on behalf of the Hutchinson Community Foundation. The late Mrs. Hawley, of Hutchinson, Kansas, left this trust to assist blind students with their post-secondary education. This will be the 25th year the scholarship has been awarded. The amounts of the scholarship award(s) have ranged from $500 to $3,350. Please share this information with others who are familiar with students who meet the following criteria:

  • Kansas resident who is blind or visually impaired.
  • Enrolled in or entering a formal course of study via one of the following by September, 2022.
    • Vocational Training Program – must be licensed and accredited
    • University
    • College
  • Taking nine (9) hours (or the equivalent) of undergraduate courses, or six (6) hours (or the equivalent) of graduate courses.
  • Must be sponsored by a teacher, counselor, professor, or other professional involved with the applicant in an official capacity. (see Sponsor form)
  • Must complete all required components of the application and provide all required documentation.
  • Please note there are both ‘ student’ and ‘sponsoring adult’ sections of the application form.

Application deadline is June 17, 2022

If you have questions, contact Jon Harding at jharding@kssdb.org

Donald J. Pickering Scholarship

The Donald J. and Marcia Pickering Scholarship will be distributed by the KC Blind All-Stars Foundation every spring, in memory of Don Pickering. Mr. Pickering dedicated 38 years of his life to the education of students with disabilities, including those who were blind, throughout the Midwest. He was instrumental in the formation of the Nebraska State School for the Blind (now the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired), prior to his tenure as Principal of the Kansas State School for the Blind, where he began as a vocational training administrator. He proudly served as Principal at KSSB for 12 years, until his retirement in 1995.

Mr. Pickering, supported by his beloved wife Marcia, began his career as a shop teacher for the visually impaired where, in these early days of his career, he took great satisfaction in teaching his wood shop students to use power tools. He enjoyed helping students create a tangible product that they could be proud of, to aid in fostering their self-esteem and self-worth. He believed in the importance of setting goals for oneself and working diligently to achieve them. Mr. Pickering was pragmatic and compassionate, and he cherished the opportunity to teach his students that, no matter what their circumstances are in life, it was crucial to take pride in what you do. He was passionate in his commitment to the betterment of his students and believed that anything worth doing takes patience and perseverance.

The scholarship will be awarded each spring to a student who is blind or visually impaired, to assist in expenses for technical education or skill-based training after graduation from high school, or completion of the Transition Program at the Kansas State School for the Blind. Meant for goal-oriented students who take pride in their work, the intent of this gift is to provide a foundation for students who require skilled training to build their career, and who will use this scholarship opportunity to foster a life they can be proud of.

Scholarship criteria

  • Enrolled in or entering a formal course of study by the month of September
  • Vocational training program must be licensed and accredited
  • Must be sponsored by a teacher, counselor, professor, or other professional involved with the applicant in an official capacity
  • Must complete all required components of the application and provide all required documentation
  • The student does NOT need to be a KSSB student, but must be a student who is blind or visually impaired residing in the state of Kansas.
  • Must be sponsored by a teacher, counselor, professor, or other professional involved with the applicant in an official capacity. Please note there are both ‘student’ and ‘sponsoring adult’ sections of the application form.
  • Must complete all required components of the application and provide all required documentation.

Application deadline is June 17, 2022

If you have questions, contact Jon Harding at jharding@kssdb.org

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