NCLD awards our Anne & Allegra Ford scholarships each year, but this year, as a result of COVID-19, we had to take a different approach. We received thousands of applications from students across the country, our biggest candidate pool ever, and instead of awarding one winner, with the support of a fabulous donor, we were able to award two winners for the 2021 scholarship. We are so proud of all of the amazing applicants and are pleased to introduce you to our two winners of the Anne Ford Scholarship.
This year, NCLD has awarded the scholarships to two incredible young adults in an attempt to ensure the college and career dreams of young adults with learning disabilities. In addition to the four winners, honorable mentions were selected for their exceptional academic achievement, engagement in both school and community activities, and demonstrated leadership for others with learning disabilities and attention issues.
Congratulations to the 2021 Anne Ford Scholarship winners:
Jocelynn Dow is a graduate of Freehold High School in Freehold, New Jersey. She is an artist, scholar, athlete, and activist. At FHS, Jocelynn served as class president, was a three-sport varsity athlete, and excelled academically as an AP scholar and National Honor Society inductee with a 4.6 cumulative GPA. Jocelynn has dedicated herself to using her gifts and talents to improve her community through volunteerism. She has completed well over 1,000 hours of service to date. As a result of her volunteerism, Jocelynn has been recognized and celebrated locally, regionally, and even nationally via numerous Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Awards. Art has been the limn through which Jocelynn expresses herself since discovering her passion for art in elementary school. As an artist, Jocelynn wants her creations to inspire others and ignite change, to bring communities together, and to give an expressive voice to the unheard. Through hard work and dedication, positivity, and commitment to others, Jocelynn aspires to help a new generation of young people find their voice to bring greater visibility and representation to women of color and marginalized groups everywhere. Jocelynn is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree while minoring in Africana studies and creative writing at Rutgers University’s Honors College as a student of the Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Chidera Ejiofor grew up in Houston, Texas, and will attend the University of Houston to study biology. Chidera was known as the kid who blurted out during class, could never sit still, and struggled in math class. She was diagnosed with ADHD when she was in second grade and acknowledges that it has been a major factor for shaping the woman she is today. She graduated from Westside High School in 2021 in the top 15 percent of her class and became a certified pharmacy technician at the age of 17. At WHS, Chidera was the president of her campus’s Black Student Union. In addition, she participated in the National Honor Society, HOSA (future health professionals), and student council. When asked how she would like to advocate for others, she spoke about what advocacy means to her and what she hopes to do in the future. She explained: “Advocacy means making sure there are resources available in all communities.” She hopes to set up programs that will provide easy access to psychiatry and mentoring for individuals with ADHD. She believes that a learning disability only makes your journey more unique.
About the Anne Ford Scholarship
Founded in 2002, the Anne Ford Scholarship is a four-year award, worth $2,500 each year. It is awarded to a graduating high school senior who will be enrolled in a full-time bachelor’s degree program in the fall. To qualify for the Anne Ford Scholarship, students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above, submit their current financial information, and provide documentation of their identified learning disability.
Anne Ford is an advocate and spokesperson for individuals with learning disabilities and attention issues. She currently serves as a member of NCLD’s Board of Directors.
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