Do you have a budding artist at your house or possibly an all star soccer player? The Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida now has a scholarship program for you! We believe that every parent wants to see their child reach his/her full potential and have the opportunity to be a part of the community. This inclusion scholarship program is designed to help promote our mission and vision of supporting and helping families and individuals with Down syndrome while also helping the community experience and appreciate the gifts our loved ones bring to their peers, friends, instructors and neighbors. Our hope is to give your child the opportunity to reach their potential and to foster a sense of belonging in the community. By being actively engaged in the community, we believe you will help to change perceptions of what it means to have Down syndrome.
The Community Scholarship is for ANY program that is geared towards inclusion- which means it is for ALL children. The objective of this program is to foster our loved ones passions with their community at large and offer access to creative outlets for growth, learning, friendship and understanding. You can use it for art, music, sports or any other activity that’s interesting to your loved one, but it’s not for therapy sessions or classes limited to individuals with special needs.
Once you’ve found a class, sport or activity your loved one would like to participate in and have all of the application details, you can apply for the Foundation’s Community Scholarship. Our goal is for both your child and the community to benefit from participation, so try to find an activity that will be a good fit. We want it to be a successful partnership for all who are involved.
The scholarship will cover anywhere from a portion of the cost to the full tuition based on the criteria outlined below. The Foundation is not responsible for enrolling your child or gaining acceptance into the program - we trust you to handle that. The Foundation offers financial support so that your family does not have to choose to spend money on therapy or an extra curricular activity. We believe that therapy has its time and place, but what our children need is to be engaged with their friends and peers in activities that have significance and meaning in their lives.
The scholarship will be paid to the establishment that provides your activity of choice, not directly to the family. Once you have applied for the class or activity and your scholarship has been approved, you will receive a confirmation letter to take with you to the location explaining the scholarship program and our commitment of payment. The Foundation will process payments around the 20th of every month for up to 4 months. If your program lasts longer than 4 months, you can submit an extension request which requires that your child has had at least 80% participation rate and a summary of the benefits experienced by participating in this program. If your program requires payment prior to the 15th of each month, please make a note in your application and we will contact you to make necessary arrangements.
The Foundation is continually looking for ways to increase the inclusion factor so that individuals with DS are not just accepted, but understood and integrated into the community. This is just the start! We hope you will find a program that your child /loved one will not only enjoy but excel at in his/her own unique way!
Step 1: Determine the activity best suited for your child/ loved one
Step 2: Contact the location and request the enrollment details and a tour
Step 3: Take your child with you and meet with the instructor / director / program administrator to make sure it is a 'good match' for both your child and the instructor
Step 4: Have your child attend a demo class if available
Step 5: Determine payment structure (is it one time, once a month, once per class) and submit your on-line application (below)
Step 6: Apply to your program of choice and obtain confirmation of placement
Step 7: Receive Scholarship Commitment Letter
Step 8: Start your new community activity and ENJOY making a difference in the life of your child / loved one and the new community of friends you will develop!