Abilis, the non-profit organization that provides services and support for individuals with special needs and their families, has opened its application process for the Peter Bloomer Citizenship Award for graduating middle and high school students. The award is presented to a graduating student who demonstrates an outstanding level of sensitivity toward people with disabilities through leadership, involvement and participation in activities that benefit citizens with disabilities. Nominations are due to Abilis by March 4, and winners will be announced at the Abilis Annual Meeting on April 3, at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich. The application is available at abilis.us. Applications must be mailed or delivered by March 4 to Lisa Bria, Abilis, 50 Glenville Street, Greenwich CT 06831. Questions on the Abilis Peter Bloomer Citizenship Award may be directed to Lisa Bria at Abilis at 203-531-1880, ext. 162.
The Abilis Peter Bloomer Citizenship Award was established 32 years ago to recognize students who demonstrate a high level of sensitivity toward people with disabilities. Peter Bloomer was a student who received special education services in Greenwich. After he passed away, this award was created as a tribute to Peter and all those who helped him by honoring middle and senior high school students for their leadership, involvement and participation in activities with people with disabilities. Over the years, Abilis has presented more than $60,000 in scholarships and awards with the Peter Bloomer Citizenship Award.
Students applying to the Abilis Peter Bloomer Citizenship Award must meet the following criteria:
- The student is graduating from a local public or private middle or high school.
- The student has participated in a variety of activities benefiting people with disabilities that may include one or more of the following: a) Positively influencing the attitudes and thinking of other students through his/her actions. b) Demonstrating leadership qualities by encouraging and organizing others to participate in activities that promote accessibility and inclusion in the community. c) Working at day camp, after school and/or weekend recreation activities. d) Providing assistance to a student that receives special education services.
- Personal statement from the student (no more than 2 pages long) about why he or she chose to participate in volunteer activities that support students with special needs and what he or she has learned from the experience(s).
- Personal statement signed by school guidance counselor, special needs organization and/or parent/legal guardian.
A Selection Committee appointed by the Abilis CEO/President will review candidates and select one or more recipients of the Award. The Award will be announced at the Abilis Annual Meeting on April 3, and annual awards day sponsored by the student’s school.