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New society scholarships fight MS – National MS Society

New society scholarships fight MS – National MS Society – National Multiple Sclerosis Society

MS can devastate plans of all kinds for anyone in the household. When the plans are for higher education, the fallout can have lifelong consequences.

“We know so many families struggling to cope with the financial impact,” said Nancy Law, vice president for Client Programs. “We know situations where kids have deferred college acceptance to work and save; young people who can’t bring themselves to ask their parents to co-sign student loans; even situations where a scholarship has been turned down for lack of funds for all the non-tuition expenses.”

To fight this often hidden effect of MS, the Society is launching the National MS Society Scholarship Program. Applications will be available in January, on the Web and at every chapter. This May, the Society hopes to award ten unrestricted $2,000-$3,000 scholarships to defray expenses related to post-high school education. Applicants will be:

* High school seniors who have a parent or guardian with MS.

* People with MS of any age who are or will be high school graduates. (The selection process will give precedence to people with MS who are currently employed or who have never worked. State vocational rehab programs will generally fund education for people who left the workforce due to disability or illness.)

Decisions will be based on financial need, an academic record that shows the applicant is able to succeed in his or her chosen area, and on a personal essay discussing the impact of MS on the applicant’s life. Screening and administration will be in the hands of a professional scholarship management company. A panel of Society volunteers will make final decisions.

“We need contributions for this important program,” Ms. Law said. “It speaks directly to our mission to empower people to live full lives despite MS. It also offers donors who want to make a larger gift an opportunity to honor someone special.” The leadership gift, from Susan and Dick Wilkie, funds the T. Ferguson Locke Scholarship, named in memory of Susan’s father. “Fergie” Locke played football at Harvard before developing MS.

For information on creating a named scholarship, please contact Katherine Swank Ploessel, director of Major Gifts Planning, at 303-813-6664. Gifts of any size may be sent to the Society at 733 Third Avenue, Sixth Floor, New York, NY 10017. Just mark the envelope “Scholarship Program”.

COPYRIGHT 2002 National Multiple Sclerosis Society

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group