The mission of the Joshua O’Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment Fund is to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome who wish to continue to enrich their lives by enrolling in postsecondary programs or taking classes. The fund was established in January 2005 by Zeshan Tabani to honor his friend Joshua O’Neill. Joshua is an inspirational young man who happens to have Down syndrome. Joshua and Zeshan grew up in the same neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Joshua was fortunate to participate in a postsecondary education experience and he benefited greatly from this opportunity. Joshua now lives independently, with supports, in New Haven, Connecticut. He works part-time and leads a productive and happy life. Zeshan was inspired by Joshua’s drive to enrich himself with postsecondary education and he wanted to help others who might not have the same opportunity.
As more individuals with Down syndrome are being included K-12 and graduating with their peers, the next step for many young adults with Down syndrome includes pursuing postsecondary education, which may include participation in a postsecondary program or simply taking enrichment courses. Financial aid is rarely available to these individuals.
The Joshua O'Neill and Zeshan Tabani Enrichment Fund seeks to offer financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome who are 18 years old or older, who wish to continue to participate in postsecondary education programs or enrichment courses to gain employment and other important life skills contributing to their independence. Grants of up to $2,000 are available by completing an application.