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Alliance of Private Special Education Schools Offers Scholarships for High School Graduates with Disabilities

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MONTVILLE, NJ - The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools in Northern New Jersey, a group of more than 30 state-approved private special education schools in northern and central New Jersey, is offering two scholarships for high school students with disabilities.

The Connections for the Future Scholarship is available to graduating students with a disability from any public school in North Jersey. The Joe Gorga Transition to Adult Life Scholarship is available to students graduating from an Alliance-member school. Both scholarships will provide financial support and recognition of students with disabilities as they pursue post-secondary training, education, or other opportunities after high school. Criteria include student achievements, accomplishments, and future goals.

“These scholarships were established so students with disabilities have the resources they need to achieve great outcomes beyond graduation,” said Diane Somers, the scholarship chairperson. “It is always a challenge for our group to select winning applications from a pool of so many promising students.”

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This year, the Alliance introduced The Connections for the Future Scholarship, which will provide up to $1,000 for a graduate who has a disability and received special education services in their local public school. Scholarship funds are flexible: they do not need to be spent on college, but can be used for any continued education, vocational training opportunity, or volunteer or community-based experience.

“We recognized that higher education is not the goal for every student. We want to support students with a range of disabilities as they pursue their dreams as an adult,” said Somers.

The applications can be downloaded from the Alliance’s website at http://specialeducationalliancenj.org and must be received no later than April 7. 

The winners will be presented with the scholarships on May 13 at the Alliance’s fifth annual spring conference, held at the Eisenhower Conference Center in Livingston. The conference, another example of the Alliance’s commitment to helping students with disabilities, offers an opportunity for families and educators to hear from national experts, and to learn about organizations, service providers, and agencies that serve children and teens with disabilities.

The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools in Northern New Jersey is a member- based non-profit organization comprised of state approved private schools for students with disabilities. Based in Montville, the Alliance provides important resources, advocacy assistance, and information for parents, educators, professionals, and others who are interested in helping students receive the special education services he or she needs. The website features a unique “school finder” tool to help visitors locate an appropriate school program. Resources and informative articles on special education topics can be found at specialeducationalliancenj.org. Families and professionals can also call 973-407-0596

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