Skip to main content

Scholarship, Leadership, and Employment Opportunities

Leadership Opportunities

Universities provide the optimal environment for reconsidering preconceptions and attitudes. While an insider to such a culture, you are in a prime position to improve understanding about disabilities generally as well as to create specific opportunities for greater inclusion. Some ways to be influential at MSU include:

  • Representing the interests of students with disabilities on campus-wide committees
  • Assisting in the development of campaigns and programs on disability-related topics
  • Participating in Barrier Busters, a team that reports campus access issues via University channels
  • Serving as a member of the Disability Services Office's Student Advisory Board 

If you are interested in any of the areas mentioned or have a creative idea of your own, Contact the Office of Student Disability Services at 606-783-5188.

Scholarships, Internships & Employment

Alexander Graham Bell College Scholarships provides information and links to scholarships for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Summer Internship Program
Since 2002, the AAPD Summer Internship Program has developed the next generation of leaders with disabilities and offered host employers access to a talented, diverse workforce. Each summer, AAPD places college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in paid 10-week summer internships in Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area. Each intern is matched with a mentor who will assist them with their career goals. AAPD provides the interns with a stipend, transportation to and from Washington, D.C., and fully-accessible housing.
For more information and to apply, visit the AAPD site.

Belva Sammons Academic Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

  • A competitive scholarship up to $500 is awarded in spring semesters to one or more full-time students registered with the MSU Disability Services office.
  • Open to qualified students with any type of disability who have unmet financial need as determined by the University’s Office of Financial Aid. 
  • Applicants need to have completed twenty-four semester hours at MSU and have earned at least a cumulative 2.80 GPA using only MSU credits.
  • Letters of recommendation and a personal essay are among the materials considered by the Award Committee
  • Applications are due by October 30 each year. Other specific qualifications and the process for applying appear on the application form.

Dr. James E. Gotsick Memorial Scholarship
This $1000 annual scholarship will be awarded from among applicants who:
  • Are currently enrolled MSU students
  • Utilize the services of the MSU Disability Services Office
  • Are financially eligible as determined by the MSU Office of Financial Aid
  • Submit an application form, personal essay, and unofficial transcript by the September 15th deadline to: MSU Office of Alumni Relations & Development

The Birkes Family Scholarship
This $500 annual scholarship will be awarded from among applicants who:
  • Are currently enrolled MSU students
  • Utilize the services of the MSU Disability Services Office
  • Are financially eligible as determined by the MSU Office of Financial Aid
  • Submit an application form, personal essay, and unofficial transcript by the September 15th deadline to MSU Office of Alumni Relations & Development

Bender Virtual Career Fair
If you are nearing degree completion and would like to work for an employer that is so open to hiring students with disabilities that they actively seek them out, consider the Bender Virtual Career Fair
At this fair you'll interview with national employers from the comfort of your home or your dorm room without having to get dressed up.  It's free to attend and is held each spring. For more information and to register, go to:
Computer Science Internships and Mentoring
The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) sponsor the AccessComputing Alliance for the purpose of increasing the participation of people with disabilities in computing careers. College students with disabilities from anywhere in the United States who are pursuing Computer Science and other computing majors are encouraged to join the AccessComputing Team. Team members are eligible for paid computing internships and mentoring. For more information, contact the project coordinator at 206-543-9150 or 206-685-3648 (TTY).

Kentucky Association on Higher Education and Disability (KY AHEAD) Scholarship

  •  A $500, competitive scholarship is awarded annually to two qualified Kentucky college students with any type of disability.
  •  Along with other criteria, award selection is based on having a minimum 2.75 GPA and a personal essay describing educational goals and disability-related leadership and service. 
  •  Application requires nomination by the Disability Services Coordinator at your school. If you are interested in being considered, contact the Office of Student Disability Services at 606-783-5188.
  • The deadline for nomination is April 15.​

Kentucky Council of the Blind Scholarship

Open to qualified blind or visually impaired college students in Kentucky. 
For further information, contact KCB directly at 502-895-4598 or

Emerging Leaders Summer Internship Program for College and Graduate Students with disabilities

  •  Paid summer internships at many of America's leading fortune 1000 corporations who are members of the National Business & Disability Council
  •  To be considered, must be a student with a disability currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. 
  •  Must have completed at least 60 credits and have a cumulative 3.0 GPA. 
  • Information on how to apply can be found on the NBDC website.

Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities

  • $10,000 scholarship may be awarded to a current junior or senior undergraduate or graduate student with a disability who is majoring in Computer Science or a related technical field.
  • International students with disabilities studying at U.S. universities are encouraged to apply.
  • The student must be enrolled full-time. 
  • Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of each candidate's academic background, leadership and passion for computer science. 
  • Scholarship Information and Application Instructions
Minority Internship Program
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet offers a twice annual paid internship targeting under-represented groups - including students with disabilities attending Kentucky colleges and universities. It is an opportunity to work at a state Cabinet office while earning co-op credits. To review the requirements and application, visit the Ky. Transportation Cabinet site.
Schwallie Family Scholarship Program
  • Students with an established Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis who will be attending an accredited institution of higher education in the United States may apply for a scholarship of $3000
  •  An autobiographical essay is required, and factors such as originality of content, financial need, previous challenges overcome, and any stated future aspirations may be considered by the review committee in making its decision. 
  • Eligible individuals need to be enrolled on at least a part-time basis (6 credits) or be working toward certification or accreditation in a particular field (e.g., studying to be a paralegal). 
  • The application process for fall opens in December of each year.
  • Application form and instructions

The Washington Center's Leadership Initiative for Students with Disabilities
College students selected will experience a combination of for-credit academic internships at a work setting in Washington D.C. along with participating in a leadership forum to build career readiness. There will also be an opportunity to explore the nation's capital. Scholarships are available to help offset the cost of participation. If interested, online applications may be found at the center's website. For additional information, contact The Washington Center at
The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities 
This federally sponsored program connects highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities to jobs with public and private employers nationwide.
If you are interested in applying to the program and interviewing with a representative from WRP, please visit and click “Students Register Now!” to get started! Please use a computer or tablet and not a mobile device.

Eligible students must:
  •  Have a disability and be eligible under the Schedule A hiring authority
  • Be a United States citizen or national
  • Be currently enrolled in a degree program on a substantially full-time basis OR have graduated with a degree within the past two-and-a-half years.
Registration closes on October 11th.
For more information or questions about WRP, please contact: Jacob Murphy at MSU Career Services: