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Pride Foundation scholarship deadline is Jan. 31
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Pride Foundation scholarship deadline is Jan. 31

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

The deadline for anyone interested in applying for a Pride Foundation scholarship is January 31. Go to www.pridefoundation.org and fill out an application before it's too late.

Each year, Pride Foundation provides educational scholarships to current and future LGBT and straight-ally leaders and role models from Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. According to Pride Foundation officials, the deadline for applications is set by their organization and through a partnership with the Greater Seattle Business Association. The two organizations have been awarding scholarships together since 1993.

Since the Pride Foundation's inception, the organization has awarded $1.65 million to nearly 900 scholars.

"It is incredibly motivating and inspiring to know that our communities are investing in leadership by supporting access to education," Anthony Papini, the Pride Foundation's director of scholarship programs, told SGN. "A scholarship is so much more than financial support; for many of our scholars, it is knowing that someone believes in them and wants them to succeed. Some of these students never hear that until they come for a Pride Foundation scholarship interview."

Zan McColloch-Lussier, Pride Foundation director of communications, told SGN that the scholarships are important because students who have been stigmatized or isolated because of their sexual orientation or gender identity often lack critical family, financial, and community support. "Encouraging them to continue their education can be very challenging. Too often, individuals of great promise give up because they don't think anyone believes in them or cares what they have to contribute," he said.

Pride Foundation also recognizes students who may not be LGBT, but who have contributed to the LGBT community. These may be the children of LGBT parents, or just friends of the Gay community whose leadership skills they want to foster.

"Often times people assume that our scholarship program only benefits young people," McColloch-Lussier told SGN. "We would like people to know that students of all ages are welcome to apply for scholarships."

Last year, he said, Pride Foundation awarded a scholarship to a woman in her 60s.

According to Pride Foundation officials, the organization has over 50 different types of scholarships available, but students only need to fill out one application. Interested individuals submit one application and the scholarship review committee determines which scholarships the applicant is eligible for.

Most Pride Foundation scholarships cover any accredited post-secondary school, which includes community colleges, four-year public or private colleges and universities, trade or vocational training, creative studies programs, certificate programs, medical or law schools, or other accredited degree programs.

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