Did you know that US families with a disabled parent are twice as likely to live below the poverty level than families without disabled parents? Did you know most college financial aid applications do not consider the medical and equipment expenses these families incur? Through the Looking Glass, home of the National Resource Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families sponsors an annual scholarship award for children of parents with disabilities. These $1,000 college scholarships are awarded to outstanding high school or college students who have at least one parent with a disability. Selection criteria include academic performance, community service, letters of recommendation, and an essay describing the experience of growing up with a parent with a disability.
This year’s scholarships went to students from across the country. Their essays show just how remarkable these families are:
The years we have spent on it have exposed me to his pain and suffering, but also to his love and ambition.
[Y]ou will notice the frustrated look in his eyes when he can’t get out the right thing he is trying to say. But I wouldn’t notice a thing, because I have lived with it my entire life.
Even now, I find it hard to look at my mother and see her as being incapable of anything.
The three [lessons] I can chalk up to be the most important or at least most meaningful to my aspirations, are being able to find alternate ways of expressing myself, being open minded and accepting of others.
More excerpts from winning essays can be found at TLG’s website at http://www.lookingglass.org/. The 2011 scholarship will be open in January 2011. TLG has additional scholarship resources at http://www.lookingglass.org/services/national-services/scholarships/51-additional-scholarship-resources
Congratulations to these amazing kids and their equally amazing families!!!