Knowledge Is Power: Step into a New Realm!

by Kenneth Semien Sr.
The DKM First-Timers Committee is accepting letters of application from ACB members who wishes to take advantage of a great opportunity. If you are a member who has never attended an ACB convention and have begun serving in your chapter or affiliate, you are encouraged to apply to become a DKM First-Timer for 2018. Join the class of over 40 current DKM First-Timers and interact with hundreds of other members during the 57th annual ACB conference and convention in St. Louis, Mo. this July. Gain the knowledge you need to become a future leader in ACB. Your future begins now!
To be eligible for consideration, each applicant must be: age 18 or older; blind or visually impaired; an ACB member in good standing, and never have attended a previous ACB national convention. In addition, two letters must be submitted for each applicant — a letter of application from the interested member, and a letter of recommendation from a state or special-interest affiliate president. The application letter introduces the applicant to the committee and should include the reasons for applying for the award, a brief summary of education and experience related to his/her community service, contributions to the affiliate, and the significance of the First-Timers award to the applicant’s personal or career development. The letter of recommendation should include the applicant’s leadership contributions and potential. Applicants who meet these requirements will also undergo a 30-minute interview with a team of DKM committee members during mid-April.
DKM First-Timers will receive round-trip air travel and supporting transportation, hotel accommodations (double occupancy), per diem allowance for meals and incidentals, leadership institute, reception, banquet tickets, the general convention registration fee, and other activities determined by the committee and ACB board of directors. Optional tours and other fun activities are not covered by the program. The responsibilities of each recipient include but are not limited to attending the full week of conference and convention activities from Saturday, June 30 through Friday, July 6; participating in daily general sessions and the Keys to the Convention seminar, along with special-interest and committee seminars, while interacting with ACB leaders and fellow members.
Applications and supporting letters should be forwarded to Kelly Gasque,, and must be received in the ACB national office no later than April 3rd. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The selection process will conclude with two recipients being awarded as DKM First-Timers — one from east and one from west of the Mississippi River. The committee reserves the right to recognize two recipients from the east or west if there are no qualified applicants from one of the specified areas.
The DKM committee will select the 2018 First-Timers during the latter part of April. Applicants will be notified of their status shortly thereafter. If you have questions, contact DKM chair Kenneth Semien Sr. via email,, or phone (409) 866-5838.