For DonorsFor Applicants

@ESPdaniella Disabled Degree Scholarship

3 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Apr 1, 2024
Winners Announced
May 2, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student
Has a disability

Students with disabilities often face challenges in school that their peers don’t have to think about.

Schools often aren’t equipped with or committed to providing the resources that students with disabilities need to flourish academically and socially, leading many to feel isolated or underserved, which can discourage them from furthering their education.

This scholarship aims to support students with disabilities as they pursue higher education and work toward their professional goals.

Any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who has a disability may apply for this scholarship opportunity.

To apply, tell us how you hope to use your major or career to help other people with disabilities.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published October 30, 2023
Essay Topic

How do you hope to help people with disabilities within your specific major or career field?

100–200 words

Winning Applications

Omar Hussain
Stony Brook UniversityThe Bronx, NY
My encounter with potential blindness at infancy due to glaucoma and cataracts fuels my aspiration to redefine ophthalmology. Rushed into surgery at six weeks old, facing a fifty-fifty chance of losing my sight, instilled a profound determination to transform care for individuals navigating similar visual challenges. Aspiring to specialize in ophthalmology, my journey drives a commitment to innovate treatments, reshaping accessibility and care. The alarming enlargement of my left eye at eleven days old hinted toward permanent blindness, prompting immediate surgical intervention. Balancing between vision and darkness, intensifies my dedication to prevent others from facing such struggle. My core mission resonates deeply: erasing isolation and misconceptions tied to visible disabilities. Through diligent practice, I aim to deliver advanced treatments ensuring enhanced vision restoration and adaptive strategies. Beyond clinical practice, I envision nurturing an environment where individuals feel empowered, understood, and equipped to confidently navigate the world. My ambitions extend beyond the clinic. I aim to advocate for inclusive practices and fair access to eye care services, collaborating with communities to foster empathy and break down barriers. My journey propels me to offer expertise and empathy, envisioning a future where visual impairments spark innovation, compassion conquers barriers, and individuals flourish unhindered.
Ella Stiso
The University of AlabamaManasquan, NJ
I was born with a connective tissue disorder affecting the development of my lower extremities. A corrective surgery existed but the risks were considerable. It would take three years, four operations, and months of physical therapy, but in the end, my procedure was successful. Recovering at Boston Children's Hospital, I met many kids whose determination against unbeatable odds inspired me to pay it forward. So, I joined The Seeing Eye program and began raising and training guide dogs for the visually impaired. Giving back to this community helped me discover what I am truly passionate about and has set me on a path to law school. I have decided to become a disability attorney and spend my career advocating for the most vulnerable among us. By seizing the opportunity to further my education, I can actively pursue my ultimate objective of advancing ADA legislation. Specifically, I aim to spearhead new initiatives by harnessing the power of AI to enhance daily living independence, as well as, employment opportunities, government programs, and mass transit accessibility nationwide. Today, I believe we are on the precipice of breaking down disability barriers that have stood for centuries. And I intend to lead the charge.
Connelly Jaqua
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyMOUNTAINSIDE, NJ
As a toddler, I was diagnosed with profound sensorineural hearing loss in my right ear and mild sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear, leading to a Section 504 classification for support. Over the years, I have adjusted to certain challenges using coping mechanisms such as lip reading. Being hard of hearing during the COVID-19 pandemic presented additional challenges. Masks led to muffled voices, which made it more difficult to understand people. Masks also made it impossible to read lips. Despite the challenges, I worked hard to maintain my grades throughout the pandemic. My experiences made me aware that, in everyday life, not everyone is accommodated. Now at university, studying industrial design, my goal is to view product creation through a lens of accessibility to support underrepresented people and make their daily lives easier. The product design solution can be complex, such as closed-captioning smart glasses that allow deaf people to “see” conversations in real time. A solution also can be seemingly simple, such as a clear face mask that allows for lip reading. Regardless of complexity, all these creations can help countless people. I am excited to make a difference in the greater community as an industrial designer.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on May 2, 2024.

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