NATCHITOCHES – A Northwestern State University graduate established a scholarship to benefit students with disabilities who may need financial assistance to pay for aids and technologies that help them succeed academically. The C.A. Conine Scholarship will be awarded to a student registered with NSU’s Office of Disability Support and must be in financial need. The student must maintain a 2.5 grade point average.
Connie Conine of Natchitoches was led to establish the scholarship because she herself copes with epilepsy, an ADA-recognized condition.
“My mother did not hover,” she said. “She let me live my life.”
Conine said her intent is to helps students who may need special technology or additional assistance to complete their studies. She pointed out that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not include protection for individuals with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was not signed into law until 1990 by President George H. W. Bush.
“This scholarship will help students pay for technology and additional fees they couldn’t get through financial aid,” said Catherine Faucheaux, director of Disability Support. “They may need braille textbooks, assistive technologies or they may have a laptop and need specific computer programs, such as zoom text, digital transcribers and text-to-speech components. Student have different learning styles, whether they learn material by hearing it, seeing it or speaking it. The technology available now is impressive.”
“This is a special scholarship,” said Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation. “Northwestern State is committed to supporting and seeking resources for our students who face extra challenges. We appreciate Ms. Conine’s compassion and her generous gift.”
“Connie Conine is a remarkable, compassionate lady who has overcome challenges in her own life,” said NSU Development Officer Jill Bankston, CFRE. “Connie remembers what it’s like to battle those challenges, and has generously given back so that an NSU student has one less thing to fight through when they are earning their education.”
Conine previously established the L.C. and Trudy Conine Endowed Scholarship to benefit a student who intends to pursue a career in the medical field. Conine was a chemistry/zoology major at Northwestern State and enjoyed a 40-year career as a medical technician in a hospital lab in Dallas.
“When you see handicapped stickers on cars, you don’t know why they are there. It makes you reflect. Not all disabilities are visible,” Conine said. She described the ideal recipient for the scholarship as “someone who might be discouraged from trying to get to school to study, but if there was a way to get that extra help, they would go for it.”
For more information on scholarships available through the NSU Foundation, call (318)-357-4414 or visit northwesternalumni.com.
Conine Disability Scholarship:
Connie Conine of Natchitoches established a scholarship that will be awarded to a student registered with NSU’s Disability Services Office. From left are NSU Foundation Director Drake Owens, Development Officers Jill Bankston, CFRE, and Kimberly Gallow; Conine, Development Officer Brittany McConathy, Director of the Disability Support Catherine Faucheaux, and Holley Shivers, counselor.