Sharon Maneki Youth Empowerment Grant Information

The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland offers youth empowerment grants for blind and visually impaired students in elementary and secondary school. These grants help deserving students take advantage of some wonderful training opportunities available in Maryland and around the country.

Application Deadline: 30 days before funds are needed.

Download the Sharon Maneki Youth Empowerment Grant Application

Application Process:

Please call Sharon Maneki , NFBMD Sharon Maneki Youth Empowerment Grant Chairman, at (410) 715-9596 to let her know an application is on its way, or with any questions.
Please send completed applications via email to, or mail to this address:Sharon Maneki Youth Empowerment Grant Program
9013 Nelson Way
Columbia, MD 21045


Students who receive grants are required to perform at least one of the following reflection activities within 45 days of completing the program. Parents may assist with this activity. Failure to complete a reflection activity may impact future eligibility for NFB support.

Reflection Activities:

  • Prepare a short article of at least 500 words for publication in the NFB of Maryland's newsletter, The Spectator, or for posting on the NFB of Maryland Web site.
  • Attend an NFB meeting. Give an overview of the program attended, and describe the benefits of the experience (approximately a 3 to 5 minute presentation).


The youth programs described below offer blind students opportunities to develop important skills for independence, leadership, and socialization. These grants are designed to defray a portion of expenses that cannot be paid through other funding sources. Resources are limited, so please apply for grants as soon as a need is identified. Please provide complete information so that decisions can be made promptly.

Blind Industries and Services of Maryland (BISM)

The following programs are offered by BISM in Baltimore, Maryland:

  • Work to Independence, for high-school students
  • Independence 101, for middle-school students.

More information can be found at, or you can call 410-737-2600 and ask for Youth Services.


The following programs are offered by BLIND Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • PREP (Post-secondary Readiness & Empowerment Program) college and employment readiness training for blind high school and college students.  For more information visit
  • The Buddy Program (ages 9 -13) For more information visit or contact Charlene Guggisberg at 800 597-9558, Ext. 251

Colorado Center for the Blind

The following programs are offered by The Colorado Center for the Blind in Littleton, Colorado:

  • Initiation to Independence Middle School Program (ages 12 - 14)
  • Earn and Learn High School Program (ages 14 - 18)

Summer for Success College Program (Ages 18 - 25)
For more information visit
or contact The Colorado Center for the Blind at or 800-401-4632.

Louisiana Center for the Blind

The following programs are offered by the Louisiana Center for the Blind in Ruston, Louisiana:

For questions or additional information, call 800-234-4166.