Each year the National Federation of the Blind of West Virginia (NFBWV) awards a scholarship to a worthy blind individual who is pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time program of post-secondary study or training and is a resident of West Virginia. This award is known as the Allen-Sprinkle Memorial Gift. Both Sid Allen and Jack Sprinkle were long time leaders in the organized blind movement in West Virginia. The gift is One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), and the scholarship will be given at the annual banquet of the NFBWV State Convention.


The Allen-Sprinkle Memorial Gift is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, service to the community, and financial need. To be eligible, an applicant must be legally blind, as defined by the Social Security Administration. The applicant must also fall within one of the following categories: (1) a high school student in the State of West Virginia who is planning to enter an accredited program of college, university, or post-secondary vocational education in the summer or fall of the calendar year the scholarship is being applied for; or (2) a West Virginia resident currently enrolled in an accredited program of college, university, or post-secondary vocational education with at least two semesters or quarters remaining after June of the year the application is submitted. (College students in this category may be enrolled in programs at either the graduate or undergraduate level). Students in either of the first two categories must be enrolled on a full-time basis, that is they must be taking twelve hours of study per semester or quarter, if in undergraduate programs, or nine hours per semester or quarter if in graduate programs.


The NFBWV is the state’s oldest and largest organization of the blind and is dedicated to creating opportunities for all blind persons. It is a state affiliate of the 50,000-member National Federation of the Blind and consists of local chapters in Clarksburg, Huntington, Martinsburg, and Wheeling, as well as a statewide chapter for members at-large. The scholarship program is just one of many NFBWV activities which are designed to change what it means to be blind and enable blind people to live the lives they want. The recipient of the award need not be a member of the NFBWV.


Applications for the Allen-Sprinkle Memorial Gift must be submitted by June 15 of each calendar year. The Scholarship Committee will select the winner, who will be the guest of the NFBWV at its annual convention. The winner will be notified of the selection by July first of each calendar year. In order to receive the scholarship, the winner is required to spend the weekend at the convention. The gift will be presented at the banquet to be held on Saturday night. The annual convention is a gathering of blind individuals from West Virginia, along with guests from various parts of the nation. It provides an excellent opportunity to share ideas and information; to get acquainted with a broad section of active, successful blind persons; and to discuss common problems and how to work together to solve them.


To apply for the Allen-Sprinkle Memorial Gift, download, complete, and return the application form. Be sure that all information requested and applicable to you is typed or printed legibly.

Also, please attach to your application all additional documents described on the form:

  • applicant’s letter
  • two letters of recommendation
  • appropriate transcripts

Also, if you are applying for the first time, please include a statement from your eye care physician.

Please send completed application and attachments to:
Karen McDonald, Chairperson
NFBWV Scholarship Committee
151 South Mineral Street
Keyser, WV 26726
Phone: 304-790-9069
Email: karen@eioproductions.com

Any questions concerning the application or eligibility should be sent to Chairperson Karen McDonald. Those who applied in the past and not chosen are encouraged to apply again. You are encouraged to apply for the Allen-Sprinkle Memorial Gift even if you are applying for scholarships from the national office of the National Federation of the Blind. The members of the NFBWV Scholarship Committee reserve the right not to award the Allen-Sprinkle Memorial Gift if they are unable to find an individual whom they consider to be a worthy recipient.