05/21/07

Saint Mary's sophomore Skylar Covich is one of 30 students from hundreds of applicants to receive a national scholarship from the National Federation of the Blind. He plans to attend the NFB"s convention in Atlanta in July to find out the amount of the scholarship.

"It makes me feel really good," said Covich, a politics major. "I think I've accomplished a lot, and I've really worked hard at Saint Mary's. I'm glad that I won."

Covich submitted an autobiography focusing on his accomplishments at Saint Mary's with the scholarship application, along with letters of recommendation from professors David Gentry-Akin and Hisham Ahmed. Scholarships range from $3,000 and $12,500.

"Saint Mary's has been a place where it has been easy for me to succeed," Covich said. "The small classes have let me get to know my professors quicker and allowed them to learn what my strengths are. I've become a better writer here, and I'm more experienced with better views of the world."

A computer with voice software and Braille capability has helped Covich succeed in the classroom, and professors have helped foster his passion for learning and politics.

Covich was recently elected president of the Saint Mary's Democrat Club. He's also part of the school's chess club and has been appointed a student member of the Core Curriculum Task Force.

"I'm looking forward to a really involved junior year," Covich said. "The people at Saint Mary's have been very helpful and fun to learn with."

The NFB is the largest foundation of handicapped people and their annual event is the largest convention for people with a disability. Covich, who attended a previous NFB convention, is looking forward to the event, which features a variety of information on topics such as technology to help the blind and accomplishments of the visually impaired.

"Most of the people in my life aren't blind so it's good to meet with other blind people," Covich said. "It's nice to share life experiences with people who deal with similar things and make friends."

Covich noted that the National Federation for the Blind has been around since 1940, "and back then blind people didn't go to college. They've really helped blind people to learn and go to college."

--Kevin Damore
Office of College Communications

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