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The DEAF GAIN LaRosh Scholarship

Full Application Form Accepted in American Sign Language or in written English.

“Freeing ourselves from the shackles of normalcy, we are now able to see how DEAF GAIN can change the ways in which we appreciate the gifts of all humans.”

H-Dirksen L. Bauman and Joseph J. Murray

SCHOLARSHIP HISTORY

This scholarship, established in the late 1970’s, was first named after Franklin W. LaRosh for his generous contributions to the Kansas Association of the Deaf (KAD). Its aim was to provide a $1,500 scholarship each for up to two Kansas School for the Deaf high school seniors, one male and one female, to support their attendance at any post-secondary educational institution.

Decades later, the world has significantly changed for the Kansas Deaf community. The rise of the cochlear implant industry and the oralism movement, detrimentally placing Deaf children in monolingual language-restrictive educational settings, has led to a noticeable decline in the number of Deaf children attending the bilingual, language-rich setting at the Kansas State School for the Deaf. Consequently, the pool of eligible scholarship candidates has dwindled, limiting opportunities for young Deaf adults in Kansas through no fault of their own.

Further, because of the availability of financial support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services for postsecondary education, the original Franklin W. LaRosh scholarship has become redundant, inefficient in terms of fund utilization, and less aligned with the KAD’s mission.

Based on the last known communication with the LaRosh family donors in 2003, Ethel Nee LaRosh Stewart [Richard Brubaker], the daughter of Franklin W. LaRosh, confirmed that the KAD Board of Directors holds full authority over the scholarship’s administration.  

Given the evolving social and economic contexts, in 2024, the KAD Board of Directors acknowledged the necessity to re-examine the scholarship’s purpose, the amount awarded, and its eligibility criteria. The KAD Board of Directors agreed that the scholarship should now encourage diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities for young Deaf adults in Kansas, regardless of their educational backgrounds.

Consequently, the KAD Board of Directors decided that the scholarship’s revised purpose should be to support and empower future generations of young Deaf leaders from Kansas, celebrating their contributions and achievements in elevating the Deaf community and humanity at large.

 

SCHOLARSHIP PURPOSE

In alignment with the Kansas Association of the Deaf mission, which is to PRESERVE, PROTECT, and PROMOTE the civil, human, linguistic, DEAF GAINS, and RIGHTS of Deaf Kansans, the Franklin W. LaRosh Scholarship is herein known as the DEAF GAIN LaRosh Scholarship.


Since Deaf humans have a natural and strong aptitude for tactile and sensory visuality, visual thinking, and for the world’s sign languages, these aptitudes are considered GAINS in professions such as architecture, film, education, linguistics, engineering, art, literature, music, media, dance, theater, video-gaming, technology, neuroscience, graphic design and more. When Deaf humans’ natural aptitudes are nurtured and fostered, their potential for contributions to humanity increases and become boundless.


Therefore, the DEAF GAIN LaRosh Scholarship's purpose is to award a scholarship(s) up to at least $3,000 to a maximum of $6,000 annually, based on annual market gains from investments of the prior year and for as long as funds are available to Kansas's young Deaf adults ages 18 through 40, Deaf-led/owned organizations, businesses or groups, to create or support endeavors that contribute to the elevation and growth of Deaf Leaders, the Deaf Ecosystem, and Human Diversity. As a result, the endeavors foster a gain for Deaf individuals, the Deaf community, the Deaf ecosystem, and humanity.


Such endeavors awarded include initiatives in a wide range of areas including the aforementioned GAINS in various professions that align with the Kansas Association of the Deaf's mission: to PRESERVE, PROTECT, and PROMOTE the civil, human, linguistic, DEAF GAINS, and RIGHTS of Deaf Kansans/Americans, by capitalizing on the natural and strong tactile sensory visual aptitudes of Deaf humans through:

  • Endeavors that are novel or experimental and evoke surprise.

  • Endeavors that challenge and inspire.

  • Endeavors that create revolutionary products or services.

  • Endeavors that foster collectivist and multigenerational communities.

  • Endeavors that grow new or strengthen existing leaders or entrepreneurs.

  • Endeavors that promote social justice and human biological diversity.

 

Amounts awarded can range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $6,000 based on the market gains of prior year investments and the number of applications awarded each year.

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

 

  • Applicant(s) must be in the 18 through 40 age range. KAD will use the applicant's State issued ID or Driver's License as proof.

  • Applicant(s) must be a Kansas Resident. KAD will use the applicant's State Issued ID or Driver's License as proof.

  • Applicant(s) must be a member of KAD. The KAD Board will verify applicant's membership standing through its membership roster.

  • Applicant(s) must have a Deaf Gain. KAD requires the Certificate of Completion in Deafhood 101 Training as attestation to the applicant’s Deaf identity.

  • Applicant(s) must have a Certificate of Completion for the Deafhood 101 Training as demonstration of their profound engagement and contributions towards the preservation and elevation of Deaf culture and practices. Should an applicant require financial assistance to complete this training prior to submitting their application for this scholarship, it is recommended they apply for the Deaf Influencers Scholarship.

 

APPLICATION PERIOD

 

Accepting applications from March 1st  to April 30th annually.

 

SCHOLARSHIP AWARD  NOTICE

 

Scholarship Award Criteria: Awarding of scholarships is contingent upon the strength of the application, fund availability, the proposed endeavor's merit, and the volume of applications received. Receipt of a scholarship is not guaranteed.

 

Confidentiality Assurance: Personal details such as age, address, and driver's license number are treated with utmost confidentiality and will not be disclosed. Information pertaining to the awarded endeavor may be shared publicly.

Selection Process: The KAD Board of Directors convenes in May to evaluate submissions and select recipient(s).

Announcement of Winners: Scholarship winner(s) will be announced on June 1st.

If you have any questions, email to support@deafkansas.org

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