The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, is in the running for a grant award of $250,000 from the Pepsi Refresh project, which awards more than $1 million each month to nonprofits and businesses based upon an online and text message voting competition.
The grant would support the 2011 NFB Youth Slam, a five-day, interactive science, technology, engineering,and math (STEM) academy designed to empower blind high school students to explore STEM subjects and demonstrate the blind can participate in the same fields as their sighted peers. Vote for the NFB Youth Slam, voters may text the number 101913 to Pepsi (73774). Voters are encouraged to vote daily throughout the month of September.
Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said, “We are pleased to be in the running for a grant that will help fund the 2011 NFB Youth Slam. The importance of programs like the Youth Slam that engage and inspire blind youth cannot be overstated. Unfortunately society has very low expectations of blind students, particularly in areas like scientific study that are falsely believed to require sight. By voting for the National Federation of the Blind in the Pepsi Refresh project, you will help us change this false view of blindness. By voting for us, you are submitting a vote of confidence in the abilities of blind students across America.”
The 2011 Youth Slam, to be held in the summer of 2011, will bring together 150 blind high school students from across the nation. The students will participate in five days of inspiring and engaging activities conducted by the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute and other partners, including blind STEM experts currently employed at universities and government agencies such as NASA. The purpose of this gathering is to encourage the blind youth of America to explore science subjects and careers while at the same time increasing their confidence in their abilities as blind people. The program will demonstrate to these students-as well as to educators and parents-that simple accommodations allow the blind to fully participate in these subjects typically believed to be dependent upon sight.
The 2011 NFB Youth Slam is eligible to receive votes in the Pepsi Refresh project throughout the month of September. Voters are urged to vote daily in three ways:
1. Text Message: Simply put the number 101913 into the body of a text, and send that text to 73774. (Standard text-messaging rates apply.)
2. Go to www.refresheverything.com/nfbyouthslam, click the link to vote, and then choose the log in using Facebook option. Once you’re successfully logged in, click the vote button on our page again and the vote link will disappear and you’ll have logged your vote!
3. Go to www.refresheverything.com/nfbyouthslam, click the link to vote, and then choose the sign in directly with Pepsi option. Once again, click the link to vote and the vote button will disappear and you’ll have logged your vote!
About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation’s blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.