The Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities is very pleased to offer a new scholarship for undergraduate students with disabilities.
The Samaritan Foundation Scholarships are awarded to five students in the amount of $2,500 each, and are intended to provide educational support to sophomores, juniors or seniors with disabilities who are American citizens and have financial need.
This is the first scholarship through RCPD that directly targets undergraduates.
\Every semester, I have students who really are needing money and ask about scholarships," RCPD specialist Val Nilson said. "It's really exciting for me now to be able to say, ‘Yes, there is!'"
The scholarship is being generously funded by the Samaritan Foundation, founded by Jim and Judy DeLapa, who have been long-time supporters of Michigan State University. Among other contributions, Ms. DeLapa is the namesake of the Judith A. DeLapa Perennial Gardens, near the Plant and Soil Sciences Building.
Ms. DeLapa's connection with MSU extends back more than four decades.
"My love for MSU started while I was still in high school and has never wavered. I met my husband, Jim DeLapa, at Michigan State and married him during my senior year," Ms. DeLapa said. "We both relied on scholarships to get through and we credit MSU in so many ways for our business success and the quality of our lives since graduation."
About 25 years ago, the DeLapa family established the Samaritan Foundation and has given scholarships to students ever since then.
"As we get older and have friends suffering various types of disabilities, it is all too apparent that life is harder when a person has disabilities of any kind," Ms. DeLapa said. "We started thinking about how difficult it must be to attend a university like MSU in a wheelchair or with any other disability."
With those thoughts in mind, Ms. DeLapa and her husband decided to extend scholarships through RCPD, and while their standard scholarships are $1,000, the couple decided to award $2,500 per year to five students with disabilities.
"We hope this scholarship will ease the financial burden for the student and his/her family and perhaps enable the student to stay in school even in this uncertain economy," she said. "The ideal candidate will be any deserving student who is passionate about getting an education and who will someday - when he or she is financially able - consider easing the load of another deserving student as someone did for us and as we are doing for them."
Applications are now being accepted for the Samaritan Foundation scholarships, and the first scholarships will be awarded in January for the spring semester. The deadline to submit applications is October 15th.