Apply for the Crashing Through Award for Independent Travel

Sendero Group would like to encourage and recognize independent travel exploits by blind people as exemplified by the book about Mike May, Crashing Through by Robert Kurson. A portion of every Sendero GPS sale will go into an annual scholarship fund to be awarded to the applicant with the most impressive travel adventure for the year.

The first application period closed February 15, 2009. Fill out the application form below to express your interest and to receive further instructions.

We anticipate a $2,500 award for one person. This may change depending upon the quality, quantity and/or cosponsors of applicants.

The Crashing Through award is open to applicants from any country. The funds can be used for, school, technology, travel or whatever the winner chooses. Sendero has the option to use any of the stories and related materials submitted by any applicant.

We are looking for independent travel. Travel with sighted friends, colleagues or family is fine as long as the blind applicant is demonstrating independent travel, a leader rather than a follower. In other words, a cruise would not be rated highly in terms of independence.
We want to hear how the applicant’s orientation and mobility tools and techniques are used. It doesn’t matter if one is using a cane or a dog but more about what one is doing, sailing, hiking, exploring a city and the like. Use of GPS is not required but will weigh in the applicants favor if used.

Independence, innovation and uniqueness are the qualities we will be looking for when we evaluate applications. Documenting the travel through photos and/or audio recordings will be very helpful. This documentation along with the written travel story should be the bulk of the scholarship submission. Strong composition skills will be necessary to convey the travel story best.

Please spread the word so photos, audio and a journal can be captured on any upcoming trips. If a trip isn’t planned before the February 2009 deadline, start planning for next summer and the 2010 Crashing Through award.

There are three components to your Crashing Through travel story submission

1. The essay about your adventure. (50pts) You should address the following questions: Where did you go? Who did you go with? Why was this trip significant for you personally, and for people you met? What did you learn about yourself? How do you think this adventure will affect your future? 50 points will be awarded depending on how your essay addresses these questions as well as the following items.
* Use of alternative travel tools and techniques
* Uniqueness of your adventure
* Difficulty of adventure
* Degree of independence from sighted assistance, solo to group travel
* Composition quality of essay
2. Multimedia files, to include images, audio, and video. (25pts)
3. Quality of References, two references are required, at least one from a teacher, (25pts). Note that your references account for one quarter of the total points. Your letters of reference should answer all of the following questions:
* How do you know this person? What is your relationship to them?
* What did this person do during the time that you have known them that makes them stand out from the rest?
* Comment on this person’s O&M skills and spirit of adventure
* Where do you see this person in five years?
* What shared personality traits do you see between this person and the characters in either Crashing Through or A Sense of the World?

The award selection committee so far includes: Mike May, Robert Kurson, Bryan Bashin, Jerry Kuns and Jennifer May from Crashing Through and Jason Roberts author of A Sense of the World. Applicants would do well to read both of these books before submitting an essay.

To begin the application process, visit Sendero Group

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