Children & Youth John Weir Academic Scholarship

2016 John Weir Academic Scholarship

for College-Bound

Seniors with Disabilities

About the Scholarship

The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (Ann Arbor CIL) awards the annual John Weir Academic Scholarship to outstanding students with disabilities. One-time scholarships range from $50-$450. One candidate receives a $500 scholarship with an opportunity to receive three additional $500 scholarships as s/he progresses through college and meets certain eligibility criteria.


Eligible students for the John Weir Scholarship must:

  • Be a high school senior graduating with the class of 2016;
  • Have a significant disability of any kind – for example, physical, visual, developmental, cognitive, hearing, learning, emotional, or other;
  • Live in Washtenaw, Livingston, or Monroe County, Michigan;
  • Plan to attend a 2– or 4-year college, university or a trade school; and
  • Submit all application materials by Friday, April 1st, 2016.


  • Complete the Online Application Form at the bottom of the page, including essays.  OR download the Paper Application Form and mail your application and essays to the Ann Arbor CIL.
  • Provide one letter of recommendation from a teacher or a school counselor.  Mail it to:  Ann Arbor CIL, John Weir Scholarship, Attn: Anna Dusbiber Gossage, 3941 Research Park Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
  • Submit all application materials by Friday, April 1st, 2016.  Materials must be post-marked no later than April 1st, 2016 to be considered.

Honoring John Weir

When my brother, John Weir, acquired his spinal cord injury (SCI) in 1964, the atmosphere was different for people with disabilities than it is today. The medical field kept people alive with SCIs, but society offered little in terms of satisfying futures. John was a pioneer in many ways. His ability to inspire practical help instead of pity was one of his gifts. While in the hospital after his surgery, he graduated from Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School. Later, he became the first severely disabled person to go to Eastern Michigan University. In 1976, he helped found the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (CIL). At the time, CILs were a new idea designed to provide resources to people who were disabled and to assist in ways that facilitated a more active life. John remained an active pioneer until his death in 1985. ~ Lou Weir

Selection Process

The John Weir Selection Committee reviews each application and interviews the top candidates. Scholarships will be awarded in Spring of 2016 in Ann Arbor. Winners are encouraged to attend with their friends and family.


Please contact Anna Dusbiber Gossage, Ann Arbor CIL Youth Services Manager, at

(734) 971-0277 x 17 or


First Name
Last Name
Street Address
Street Address 2
Email Address
High School
Grade Point Average (GPA)
High School Phone Number
High School Address
Which colleges, universities or trade schools have you applied to?
Which schools have accepted you?
On a separate sheet of paper, please type (by yourself or with the assistance of another person) your responses to each of the following questions. Please view this as an opportunity to “sell yourself” to the Selection Committee so let your personality shine through.
Essay 1. Describe your school-related and/or extracurricular activities. Be sure to include volunteer work and community service, if any, and what you learned along the way. (300 words or less)
Essay 1 Answer
Essay 2. What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of and why? (300 words or less)
Essay 2 Answer
Essay 3. What is your disability and how has it impacted your high school experience and your life in and outside of school? How do you embrace your disability?? (300 words or less)
Essay 3 Answer
What are your hopes and dreams for your future? (ie. Education, career opportunities). (300 words or less)
Essay 4 Answer

Ashley Wiseman

  • “Receiving the John Weir scholarship showed me that a group of esteemed committee members believed not only in my academic qualities but in my ability to carry the torch of the disability community. This helps motivate me to get more involved in that sector of the overarching human rights movement,” Ashley Wiseman, 2006 John Weir Scholarship winner.

    Wiseman has Dejerine-Sottas syndrome, a neuropathy which lessens the strength and sensation in her limbs.  She currently attends Grand Valley State University.

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