Beaming Health Autism Post-Secondary Scholarship

Funded by
Beaming Health, Inc.
Learn more about the Donor
$1,000
1st winner$500
2nd winner$500
Awarded
Winners
2
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
May 5, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 4, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, High School
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school or undergraduate student
Background:
On the autism spectrum
Education Level:
Background:
High school or undergraduate student
On the autism spectrum

Roughly 1% of the population has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), amounting to more than 75 million people.

Unfortunately, there still isn’t enough support for autistic students, preventing many from pursuing higher education and reaching their goals. Nearly 50,000 autistic individuals graduate from high school every year, but only 16,000 of those students go on to pursue a college education. 

This scholarship aims to support autistic students who are pursuing or planning to pursue post-secondary education.  

Any high school or college student who is on the autism spectrum may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, share an essay or video telling us about a dream or goal of yours and how higher education will help you achieve it.

Published January 4, 2022
$1,000
1st winner$500
2nd winner$500
Awarded
Winners
2
Finalists
5
Application Deadline
May 5, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 4, 2022
Education Level
Undergraduate, High School
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

Please share one of your dreams or life goals and tell us how post-secondary education will help you get there.

0–600 words

Winning Applications

Lindsay Davis
Estrella Foothills High SchoolGoodyear, AZ
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” — Albert Einstein The quote is a testament to the barriers of societal expectations that I strive to shatter. Having Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, society labels me “rigid” and “cognitively deficient”, which is a far cry from the truth. Indeed, responding adeptly to change may be somewhat challenging at times for me; however, it is absolutely possible. As I’ve grown, life has forcibly kneaded my mental bone structures into a more malleable state — a manner akin to Chinese foot-binding practices, if you will. However, I refuse to approach change with a defeatist attitude. Perhaps it’s my own sense of pride or a hero complex. Maybe it’s my resolve or rebellious streak. I’ve always longed to solve mysteries and complexities of the human brain. Over time, my fascination has evolved into a desire to explore neurodiversity and help create an inclusive world for the misunderstood outliers. Why should some people be deprived of their voice because the world struggles to understand them? Why let the lack of services or support get in their way to success? Subsequently, my dream to become a neuroscientist and the desire to change the lives of the most misunderstood populations has only intensified. It kills me to watch others fight invisible battles and berate themselves for being ‘inadequate’ or ‘deficient’, never once considering the possibility of their apparent neurodiversity and unique talents. So many individuals who receive late diagnosis associate their differences with deviance and disability. As a result, they develop maladaptive habits and low self-esteem during their years without proper support. To me, this is an injustice. There’s much to be desired when it comes to locating neuropsychologists who are familiar with higher functioning or twice-exceptional students with neurodevelopmental disorders. Oftentimes, unfortunately, professionals — who are less versed in the disorders — overlook a hefty portion of the neurodiverse learners in their schools and propagate the misconceptions of such conditions among teachers, who, consequently, may perceive unidentified students as merely “lazy” or “difficult”. Twice-exceptional students’ ability to fly under society’s radar makes it all the more imperative that they receive identification. Being without intellectual impairment does not render signs of a child’s neurodiversity invisible or support unnecessary; au contraire, it makes their lack of diagnosis a greater detriment. Current knowledge available on neurodevelopmental disorders is severely lacking. What better a way to deepen our understanding than to have individuals like me, who most intimately know such conditions, doing research? I have already been accepted into the Honors College at the University of Arizona as a neuroscience and cognitive sciences major and I intend to minor in computer science, as I wish to incorporate artificial intelligence into my research as a neuropsychologist. Once I establish myself in my field, I plan on making an impact in my community by providing pro bono services to children in local school districts. This way, I can guide families that cannot afford to seek formal evaluation or are unsure how to proceed. With an accurate diagnosis, one’s life trajectory could be completely altered. Getting evaluated will open doors to appropriate support for students and give them the wings to soar. I never want to see others struggle with undiagnosed or unsupported neurodevelopmental disorders. We should not be satisfied until our society approaches the subject of neurodiversity with an open mind and everyone has the opportunity to utilize their cognitive strengths to the fullest. May we spur the movement towards deeper societal acceptance!
Karli DeMarco
Lockport Township High Sch EastLockport, IL
One of my biggest goals at the moment is to become an elementary teacher within the next few years. I will be attending Lewis University in the fall of this year to pursue my major in Elementary Education. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I used to bring old/used textbooks home from school and "force" my little brother to play school with me. Of course, he was annoyed at my constant nagging when it came to wanting to teach him, but I ignored that. There was something special I felt when I saw him learning things that I was teaching him. He would pick up on material three years ahead of his grade and I felt accomplished. I thought, "I did that". Again, there was something special about that feeling. I would go on to volunteer for early childhood kids at my church and later move up to elementary. My heart fell in love with that age group. To this day, I still volunteer with these kids and continue to impact their lives just as much as they have impacted mine. In 2020 I was diagnosed with ASD. Although most people don't know I have ASD, it is still one of the hardest challenges I have ever dealt with. Over the past few years, I have learned more about myself and others; my eyes have opened up to a whole new world. I am able to understand more of how my brain works and how I am uniquely different than most other people. And I am okay with that. I know that I am special, but I also know I have to work hard to be the best person I can be and impact others in a positive way. Fortunately, I have found new ways to redirect and teach my students at church since my diagnosis. Understanding my own brain functions has helped me to recognize how other kids' brains work too. I find myself at a true advantage when it comes to connecting to my students and being a helping hand. Going to Lewis University to pursue elementary education is truly the next step in my journey to becoming the teacher I want to be. I will be able to have fun and learn so much about what it takes to become an educator. I will also continue to learn more about myself and how I will uniquely teach.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 5, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 4, 2022.

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