Kent State Student With Down Syndrome Receives National Scholarship | Kent State University

Kent State Student With Down Syndrome Receives National Scholarship

Erin Hawley selected to receive grant by the National Down Syndrome Society

The National Down Syndrome Society has announced that Erin Hawley of Medina, Ohio, is one of 18 outstanding students who have Down syndrome to be awarded a scholarship to help cover the cost of postsecondary or enrichment courses through the society’s O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund. As more individuals with Down syndrome are being included in kindergarten through 12th grade and graduating with their peers, the next step for many young adults with Down syndrome includes pursuing postsecondary education, and the National Down Syndrome Society is proud to be a part of this growing trend. 

Hawley will attend her second year at Kent State University this fall, studying in the Career and Community Studies program. Kent State’s Career and Community Studies program is a college-based, transition, nondegree program offered by the College of Education, Health and Human Services to prepare students with intellectual and developmental disability for adult life through academic pursuits, peer socialization, and career discovery and preparation. The program integrates inclusive classes, a typical college experience and a transition curriculum to assist students in achieving adult roles and a quality of life in a community of their choice. 

Hawley, 19, lives in a residence hall during the school year, is a member of the American Red Cross club, and enjoys listening to country music, playing golf and singing karaoke with friends.

“The National Down Syndrome Society’s O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund encourages and recognizes the hard work and accomplishments of young people who are changing society’s perception of what individuals with Down syndrome can achieve,” says Vanessa Quick, director of programs and community outreach at the National Down Syndrome Society. “By continuing to enrich their lives through taking classes or enrolling in postsecondary educational programs, these students prove that the talents, skills and abilities of individuals with Down syndrome are limitless.”

The mission of the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome – 18 and older – who are continuing to enrich their lives by taking classes or enrolling in postsecondary educational programs. Since 2005, more than 127 grants for postsecondary education have been awarded to students with Down syndrome through the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund. The National Down Syndrome Society is honored to have been chosen to facilitate and administer this grant.

For more information about the National Down Syndrome Society, visit www.ndss.org.

For more information about Kent State’s Career and Community Studies program, visit www.kent.edu/ehhs/career-community-studies.