National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky
Academic Scholarship Program

The National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky presented its first academic scholarship in 1997 when the Emerson Foulke Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the recently deceased, influential, long time Federationist, Emerson Foulke. Over the years, this and other scholarships have been presented to deserving post-secondary scholars. The NFB of Kentucky hopes to continue to grow our scholarship program. Currently, there are four types of scholarships available to qualifying post-secondary students.

Scholarship Awards and Honors

Emerson Foulke Memorial Scholarship:This scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is presented by the NFB of Kentucky in honor of Emerson Foulke. Emerson was a long time Federationist. In his career he worked as a professor of psychology at the University of Louisville, where he served as director of the Perceptual alternatives lab. He conducted countless research projects dealing with all aspects of perception. This scholarship will be presented to an individual studying for a degree in psychology, science, research, technology or education/teaching.

Betty J. Niceley Memorial Scholarship:This scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is awarded by the NFB of Kentucky in memory of Betty J. Niceley, long time president of the NFB of Kentucky. Betty worked for many years at the Kentucky Department for the Blind. She served as president of NAPUB (National Association to Promote the Use of Braille) and served on the BANA (Braille Authority of North America) board. Braille was near and dear to Betty's heart. Throughout her life, she was a tremendous advocate for Braille. This scholarship will be awarded to an individual who reads Braille and finds it an essential part of his/her daily life.

Charles and Betty Allen Scholarships:These scholarships in the amount of $1,000 are endowed by Charles and Betty Allen, long time members of the Frankfort Chapter of the NFB of Kentucky. Charles Allen has served in various leadership positions on both a state and national level, and his wife, Betty has been by his side to support all of the work of the NFB. In order to be eligible for this scholarship, an individual must be a resident of Kentucky. The applicant must be recommended by a fellow member of the NFB of Kentucky. Individuals receiving this scholarship must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and must provide proof of enrollment in a full-time college or university program. Priority will be given to any applicants who are totally blind.

General Eligibility Criteria

  1. All applicants must be legally blind. Proof of legal blindness must be provided as documentation.

  2. Students receiving scholarships must attend an accredited college, university or on-line program.

  3. Applicants must reside in Kentucky and/or attend a post-secondary school in Kentucky. Students who participate in on-line programs based in Kentucky, but do not have any physical ties to Kentucky, i.e. are not physically in Kentucky, are not eligible to apply for these scholarships.

  4. Scholarship finalists must attend and participate in all activities at the annual state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky. The NFB of Kentucky state convention takes place annually during a weekend in late September or early October. Convention expenses are covered as a part of the scholarship program. Scholarship winners will be chosen during the annual state convention. Information in regards to convention date and location is forthcoming.

  5. Scholarship recipients are required to be enrolled in school during the academic year in which the scholarship is awarded. If for some reason the recipient does not attend school that year, he/she is required to return scholarship money to the NFB of Kentucky treasury.

NOTE: Scholarship finalists who are invited to attend the annual NFB of Kentucky state convention are not guaranteed a scholarship. The scholarship committee will make final decisions regarding scholarship awards during the convention. However, even if finalists are not chosen to receive an academic scholarship, convention expenses, including convention registration fees, hotel accommodations and three (3) meals on Saturday of the convention will be awarded. Scholarship finalists are responsible for other expenses incurred during the convention.

Applications must include the following:

  1. A completed on-line scholarship application.

  2. Most recent school transcript.

  3. Two (2) letters of recommendation.

  4. Telephone Interview with a Scholarship Committee Member

  5. Proof of legal blindness, i.e., a statement from a physician, and/or a statement from the Kentucky Office for the Blind stating that you are legally blind.

  6. Proof of enrollment in a post-secondary educational institution, i.e. Scholarship applicants must be enrolled in a post-secondary program, or be accepted into a program. (Please include a copy of the letter of acceptance into a post-secondary program if not already enrolled.

Supporting documentation to scholarship applications should be emailed to NFBK Scholarship Chairperson, Lora Felty Stephens at

Scholarship applications and all supporting documentation must be received electronically by midnight on September 1.

The scholarship committee reserves the right to present these scholarships on an annual basis; however, if the committee feels that they have not found worthy candidates, it may choose not to award any or all of the scholarships described above.

NOTE: Scholarship Applications MUST include all required documentation. Incomplete applications will not be considered for a scholarship award.

It is recommended that scholarship applicants review the "Scholarship Finalists Frequently Asked Questions" in the link below for more detailed information in regards to the NFB of Kentucky scholarship program.

Scholarship FAQS

2024 NFBK Academic Scholarship Form

Please use the link above to access the scholarship form.

Lora Felty Stephens, Scholarship Chairperson
1127 Sharon Ct.
Ashland, KY 41101
(606) 324-3394
Email Lora Felty Stephens