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Let’s Talk LD

Scholarship to Support Self-Determination for Neurodivergent Youth




Eligibility and Guidelines


According to Developmental Educator Barb Cook (n.d.), 


Self-determination and self-advocacy are pinnacle life skills that drive your success in education, employment, independence, and society. With the right supports, tools, and strategies, you can develop a strong sense of self-determination that builds your confidence in knowing how to advocate for your needs. When neurodivergent people gain these skills, it can be an empowering feeling. They will often feel their value and worth are being validated. They feel confident in speaking up and being able to ask for support and have their needs met. Self-determination emphasizes the importance of providing you with opportunities to control your own destiny, participate in your own life and the community fully, and be involved in decisions about your life. Self-determination skills allow you to identify your strengths and challenges and be able to determine what you need to succeed. When we understand our specific needs, which are often recognized through self-awareness, we can formulate what we need and then convey to others what we need to support us [Retrieved on July 28, 2022, from]. 


Let’s Talk LD is pleased to demonstrate its commitment to advancing equity and opportunity for neurodivergent youth by establishing its 2022 Scholarship Program to Support Self-Determination for Neurodivergent Youth. This scholarship opportunity is designed to recognize four (4) neurodivergent scholars who are both currently seniors in high school (proof of enrollment will be required) and take on a leadership role in their educational/transition planning.

A $250 scholarship will be awarded to four scholarship award recipients to support activities designed to strengthen self-determination (before their high school graduation). Eligible applicants will be required to submit a written essay (which can be dictated using speech-to-text assistive technology), a visual art demonstration (to include an engaging PowerPoint presentation, a YouTube Presentation, or a TikTok), or a spoken word piece that addresses the following questions:


  1. How do you personally define self-determination?

  2. Why do you believe that self-determination is important to the post-secondary transition journey? 

  3. As a graduating high school senior, in what ways have you already demonstrated your self-advocacy and self-determination skills in your Educational and Transition Planning during Academic Year 2022-2023 OR During your senior year, in what specific ways do you plan to strengthen your self-advocacy skills and demonstrate your self-determination skills in your Educational and Transition Planning during the 2022-2023 academic year?  

  4. As a participant in the 2022 Postsecondary Planning & Transition Conference for Neurodivergent Youth/Young Adults, what specific tools and resources did you learn that you believe will strengthen your self-advocacy and self-determination skills as a graduating high school senior during the 2022-2023 academic year? 




  1. All scholarship entries must be received no later than 31 December 2022 at 11:59 p.m. NO SUBMISSION WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER 31 DECEMBER 2022 at 11:59 PM.

  2. All applicants must be graduating high school seniors during the 2022-2023 academic year;

  3. The applicant’s submission must respond to every question enumerated above. Any submission that fails to respond to every question enumerated above will be disqualified.

  4. Your high school must provide proof of enrollment that the scholarship applicant is a graduating high school senior.

  5. The scholarship applicant must attend the full neurodivergent youth/young adult self-determination program presented at the 2022 Postsecondary Planning & Transition Conference for Neurodivergent Youth/Young Adults on Saturday, October 1, 2022.

  6. Applicants (or, if minor children, their guardians) agree that all submissions will become the property of Let’s Talk LD. They further understand that the submissions may be featured on public forums, including Let’s Talk LD social media channels and websites. 

  7. Applicants (or, if minor children, their guardians) understand that the $250 scholarship funds will be paid directly to the self-determination provider (which can include a course completed at a local community college, services provided by a qualified post-secondary transition professional, services provided through a transition program, etc.) and that the self-determination service must be completed no later than August 31, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. If you have questions regarding who qualifies as a self-determination provider, please email your inquiry to   


The four (4) Recipients of the 2022 Scholarship Program to Support Self-Determination for Neurodivergent Youth will be decided by a scholarship committee of six transition professionals. Award Decisions will be made on January 31, 2023, no later than 11:59 PM. 


Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:


  • The originality and creativity of the submission.

  • The effectiveness/impact with which the submission addressed the questions enumerated above. 

  • The degree to which the submission can serve as best practice for other neurodivergent youth who are engaged in or planning their own self-determination journey.

Should you have any additional questions, please direct your inquiry to


Please note that a 1099-MISC will be issued to scholarship recipients who have reached the age of majority or to the legal guardians of those scholarship recipients who have not reached the age of majority. Any tax liability is the responsibility of the student or guardian. Each scholarship recipient is responsible for determining how the tax laws apply to his/her/their particular circumstances. 

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