JOIN: Applications Now Online for the 2014 Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship stipend awards for the summer of 2014 (Application deadline: March 21, 2014). Qualified applicants will spend the summer at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD where they will participate actively in NAD advocacy efforts to protect the civil, human and linguistic rights of the American deaf community. Preference will be given to students pursuing careers in law, public policy, nonprofit management or related fields. This scholarship provides financial stipends to assist qualified applicants with travel, housing, transportation and related needs during the internship.

Past Scholarship recipient, Lisa Bothwell shares her encouragement for other interested applicants, “I was fortunate to be able to work with the lawyers at the NAD. I did legal research on transportation, employment, and effective communication. I just graduated from the College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Shortly after, I didn’t take a breath and studied for the bar in Texas and passed — I am now a licensed attorney in Texas! My career goal is to be a civil or disability rights attorney.”

Another recipient, Hayley McLemore shares gratitude for the experience, “I first learned of the Scholarship from my Dad and realized it was a great opportunity for me to be able to experience legal advocacy within the feaf and hard of hearing community. During my internship, I was able to discover different issues related to accessibility and deaf and hard of hearing rights. One task I really enjoyed was contacting different airports to interview them on what accessibility they provided for deaf and hard of hearing people. From there, I learned whether or not the airport had captions on TVs, videophones, and interpreters. The internship was very helpful for me to narrow down my career goals — I’m still in school but I’d like to become a lawyer and get into legal advocacy after I graduate!”

Stipend Disbursement & Internship Duration

Duration of summer internships shall be on a full time basis for no less than 10 weeks and no more than 15 weeks per year.
Determination of the stipend amount for each qualified applicant is based on the length of the internship and the Application Criteria below. For example, a qualified applicant studying in law school (Juris Doctor degree) who commits to the entire length of the summer internship may be eligible for the full $6,000 stipend. Up to two qualified applicants studying for their Bachelor’s degree may receive stipends of up to $3,000 each.
Applicants are responsible for their own transportation, lodging and meals. The NAD is located near the Silver Spring Metro station, which allows for convenient transportation throughout the DC Metro area (MD/DC/VA). Applicants are also responsible for their own automobile parking fees, if applicable.
Application Criteria

Applicants seeking Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship consideration must be currently enrolled in academic studies toward graduate or undergraduate degrees within the following or related fields:

Law (Juris Doctor degree)
Public Policy (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree)
Nonprofit Management (Master’s or Bachelor’s degree)
Applicants will be screened on the basis of the following criteria:

Deaf or hard of hearing;
Demonstrated commitment to and advocacy for public service – specifically civil, human and linguistic rights of the American deaf community;
Evidence of leadership abilities and potential for continued growth in leadership skills;
Excellent research, writing and presentation skills; and
Strong academic and extracurricular credentials.
Applicants must supply the following information as part of their application package:

Cover letter and rationale for application
Full name
Permanent address
Phone number/s
Email address/es
Educational institution name and mailing address
Proof of status as a current student, including academic and financial standing
Official transcript listing academic courses and grades awarded
Expected year of graduation, degree and field of study
Contact person at educational institution, e.g., internship or employment coordinator
Anticipated start/end dates of summer internship
Resume detailing employment history, internships, co-op experience, etc.
Description of community activities, especially those pertaining to advocacy and leadership within the deaf and hard of hearing community
References (minimum of three)
Applicants must indicate their area/s of internship interest:

Early intervention
Health care and mental health
Employment/vocational rehabilitation
Sign language as a human right
Other (specify)
Application Deadline

Applications for the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship must be submitted electronically to scholarship (at) nad (dot) org no later than Friday, March 21, 2014. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Scholarship recipients will be notified by Monday, April 14, 2014.

Screening and Selection Process

The respective points of contact for the NAD Headquarters and the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Committee shall coordinate screening of applicants and selection of recipients.

The screening and selection process is delineated as follows:

Monday, March 21, 2014 – Applications are screened for completeness and satisfaction of criteria by the NAD, and eligible applicants’ documentation are shared electronically with the Scholarship Committee;
Monday, March 24, 2014 – Top applicants are selected by the Scholarship Committee, and interviews are scheduled in the next few days. Local applicants will be interviewed in person at the NAD Headquarters. Remote interviews will be conducted via video or phone for those who reside outside the greater MD/DC/VA area;
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – Conclusion of interviews; NAD conveys final recommendations to Scholarship Committee;
Monday, April 7, 2014 – Committee selects scholarship recipients;
Monday, April 7, 2014 – NAD Headquarters informs scholarship recipients.
About the Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship

Established by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) at its 50th Biennial Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship encourages and enhances the NAD and its distinguished history of advancing professional opportunities for young deaf and hard of hearing individuals pursuing careers in law, public policy, nonprofit management and related fields. Many NAD interns, inspired by their passion and experiences at the NAD Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, have gone on to become successful leaders and advocates in their respective communities.

Nancy Bloch served the American deaf and hard of hearing community diligently for nearly 19 years as Chief Executive Officer of the NAD. In 2011, when her tenure ended, the scholarship in her name was created to honor Nancy’s life-long commitment to invest in the future of young deaf and hard of hearing advocates so that they, too, can pave the way for others to follow in the future.

About The Scholarship Committee

The Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship committee has a simple, straightforward objective – to raise a specified amount each year to ensure funds are continually available to support annual disbursement of internship stipends and re-investment for fund growth purposes.

Currently supported through generous individual contributions made during and since the 50th Biennial NAD Conference in Philadelphia, PA, the Scholarship fund relies on individual, organizational, corporate and foundation support to further its goals. To donate online or via mail/fax, visit and select the button for “Nancy J. Bloch Leadership & Advocacy Scholarship Fund” in the Donor Designation section to ensure that your contribution is directed appropriately.

Scholarship Committee members welcome inquiries from individuals and groups interested in donating to the scholarship fund. Members include Nancy Bloch, Chair; Barbara Jean “BJ” Wood, Vice Chair; LeWana Clark, Shane Feldman, Jerry Nelson, Annette Posell, Julie Rems-Smario, Jackie Roth, and Bobbie Beth Scoggins, with President Chris Wagner and Chief Executive Officer Howard Rosenblum as ex officio members on behalf of the NAD.