Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society


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Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society

667 US-51 Suite C
Ridgeland, MS 39157
601-385-DOWN (3696)

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CMDSS Educational/Job Training Scholarship

One scholarship up to $5000 will be awarded to an individual with Down syndrome who is pursuing educational or job training opportunities beyond high school.


All applications must be received by April 1.  Scholarship awards will be announced no later than May 1. 

• Educational pursuits may include, but are not limited to: college, community college, trade school, vocational school, job training, or adult continuing education programs.
 • Scholarship funds may be used in multiple programs, but must be used within one (1) year of award.

General Scholarship Information

Applicant Eligibility Requirements: 

• The applicant must have Down syndrome.
• The applicant must be accepted to college, trade school, job training or continuing education program.
• There must be a personal connection and/or family involvement in support of CMDSS activities or programs.
• Scholarship awards are awarded one time only and the scholarship award is not renewable. 
• Past scholarship award winners may not re-apply. Past applicants who did not receive a scholarship award are encouraged to re-apply. 
• Applications must be postmarked by April 1.

Selection and Award Evaluation Criteria: 

• Applicant essay or personal statement
• Involvement with CMDSS and the disability community 
• Letters of recommendation
• Academic achievement/independent living skills/employment

Award Payment: 

• The scholarship funds awarded are to be used solely to pay for educational and job training expenses. 
• All scholarship awards will be paid directly to the institution or service provider by CMDSS.
• All scholarship funds must be used within one (1) year of award.

Completing the Application Packet 

Essay or Personal Statement:

The applicant’s submission must include an essay or personal statement. 
• An essay or personal statement not to exceed one page in length should be submitted with the application. 
• The essay should include the applicant’s relationship with CMDSS and disability community and future career plans. 
• The applicant may elect to supplement the essay or personal statement with a photo essay up to two pages in length. 
• Give an example of how the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the community has affected you and how it might affect you in the future. 

Letters of Recommendation: 
The applicant’s submission must include two letters of recommendation. 
The letters must come from individuals who know the applicant well (i.e. teacher, educational assistant, principal, counselor, consultant, social worker, employer, job coach, clergy member, coach, or community member). 

Additional Supporting Documentation (not required) The following are provided as examples of the types of supporting documentation which may help the scholarship committee in their deliberations. Please provide any supporting documents which you believe to be relevant. 

Additional supporting documentation may include: 
• Academics – school transcripts, report cards, academic awards 
• Record of Activities – type of activity, years and estimated hours of service and organization name • Honors and Awards – certificates and awards
• Extracurricular activities – records of activities, statements from activity leaders, certificates and awards
• Employment – employment history, employment training, performance reviews, certificates and awards 
• Independent Living Skills – record of progress made in acquiring skills, statement of achievement from teacher/coach 
• Advocacy – statement of how the applicant educates others on the needs of those with disabilities (teachers, peers, or the community)
• Assistive Technology – record of technology used, how it has impacted the applicant or others.

Please note: All materials submitted become the property of CMDSS and will not be returned. 

• All applications must be submitted in hard copy. We suggest you make a copy for your records
• All application materials (including supporting documentation) must be submitted and mailed in the same packet. 

Application packets must be postmarked by April 1. Mail the application packet to: CMDSS Scholarship Committee PO Box 935, Jackson, MS 39205 

For more information or questions, please email scholarships@cmdss.org.

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