Scholarships & Awards

Bender Leadership Academy encourages students and alumni to become disability advocates and thoughtful citizens through civic leadership.

Linda Dickerson Scholarship
Linda Dickerson with Joyce Bender
Gregory D. - High School Student in Philadelphia County

Bender Leadership Academy has helped me build confidence in speaking in front of people. I always have been nervous, but Bender helped me get over my fear.

The Linda Dickerson Scholarship was created by Bender Leadership Academy for students who were positively impacted by attending any of our Bender Leadership Academy programs.

About Linda Dickerson – Linda Dickerson was a trailblazer in the Disabilities Rights Community. Linda was diagnosed with a rare, genetic neuromuscular disease known as Werdnig-Hoffmann, a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy. She used a wheelchair her entire life. After obtaining other significant disabilities later in her life, she still remained unstoppable. Dickerson’s internal drive and unrelenting spirit did not let any challenges get in the way of her life goals.

About the Linda Dickerson Scholarship- All students who participate in any of our Bender Leadership Academy programs are eligible to win a Linda Dickerson Scholarship. Bender Leadership Academy will give up to 16 $1,000 scholarships out throughout the school year.

 

2023/2024 Award Winners

Josh

Josh S.
Trinity Area School District
Disability Mentoring Day

Madison

Madison J.
City Connections East
Disability Mentoring Day

Spencer D.
City Connections East
Disability Mentoring Day

Kimora M.
City Connections East
Disability Mentoring Day

2022/2023 Award Winners

Alexandra

Alexandra W.
Central Valley High School
Student Leaders

Brianna

Brianna R.
Baldwin High School
Student Leaders

Jayden

Jaden F.
South Fayette High School
Student Leaders

Ally

Kaylee N.
Wesley Bridge Program
Disability Mentoring Day

Alex

Alexander S.
Mt. Lebanon High School
Student Leaders

Mara

Mara I.
Western Beaver High School
Computer Basic and Customer Service Certifications

Jason

Jason D.
Ambridge School District
Computer Basic and Customer Service Certifications

Kevin

Kevin A.
Christiana High School
Student Leaders

Mat L.
Westinghouse Academy High School
Disability Mentoring Day

Jamieka

Jamieka T.
Westinghouse Academy High School
Disability Mentoring Day

Isaiah

Isaiah E.
Westinghouse Academy High School
Disability Mentoring Day

David R
Hopewell High School
Disability Mentoring Day

Jesse

Jesse L.
Bethel Park High School
Student Leaders

Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn A.
West Jefferson High School
Student Leaders

2021/2022 Award Winners

Rushma

Rushma K.
Baldwin High School
Advanced Student Leaders

Jocelyn

Jocelyn M.
Beaver County Community Technical Center
Certifications

Hiro

Hiro M.
Fox Chapel High School
Advanced Student Leaders

Angela

Angela M.
Riverside High School
Advanced Student Leaders

Gregory D

Gregory D.
Insight PA Cyber Charter School
Advanced Student Leaders

Brooklyn

Brooklyn W.
Insight PA Cyber Charter School
Advanced Student Leaders

Jason

Jason B.
Mon Valley High School
DigitalAccess@Work

Joey B

Joey B.
DigitalAccess@Work

Wade

Wade D.
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
Disability Mentoring Day

Destiny

Destiny M.
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
Disability Mentoring Day

Zachary

Zachary P.
Norwin High School
Student Leaders

Courtney

Courtney S.
Central Valley High School
Student Leaders

Colby

Colby R.
Peters Township High School
Student Leaders

Nick

Nicholas M.
Community College of Allegheny County/City Connections1
Student Leaders

Joy

Joy M.
Ellwood City High School
Student Leaders

Sam Miller Award
Brooklyn Walker

Bender Leadership Academy has helped me so far and will continue to help me throughout my future by giving me lots of opportunities, greater confidence, strengthen my communication skills, and long-term success.

Rushma K. - High School Student in Allegheny County

The Sam Miller Award is presented to an individual with a disability between the ages of 16-21 who has shown, through action, their dedication to advocacy, anti-bullying, and leadership efforts in support of youth with disabilities. The recipient of the Sam Miller Award will be recognized with a plaque and a $300.00 gift certificate presented by corporate sponsor Bender Consulting Services, Inc. The Sam Miller Award is given annually. Applications are accepted between September 1 and August 31 of the award year.

Sam Miller Award Winners

  • 2023 Brooklyn Walker
  • 2022 Rushma Kafley
  • 2021  Asher Jordan
  • 2020  Brianna Cooley
  • 2019  Jerry Metting
  • 2018  Jayla Youngblood
  • 2017  Kaitlyn Lore
  • 2016  Olivia Stevenson
  • 2015  Gwendolyn Jackson
  • 2014  Nicole Kay
  • 2013  Staci Forrest
Apply to be a Sam Miller Recipient