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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 21, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 43
The GSBA Guarantee initiative enhances GSBA Scholarship Fund
Section One
ALL STORIES
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The GSBA Guarantee initiative enhances GSBA Scholarship Fund

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

GSBA announced on October 19, the GSBA Guarantee, the organization's newest initiative to provide funding to students during four years of undergraduate work.

Jason Dittmer, GSBA director of marketing & communications, cited in a October 19 media release to Seattle Gay News that financial barriers, often times due to family estrangement, are one of the major reasons LGBTQ students do not graduate from college. Dittmer says that the GSBA believes that significantly decreasing (or eliminating) this barrier, they opened doors for students to focus on one of the biggest factors related to a student's ability to persist through to graduation, feeling connected to a community.

'Your community is here for you. You are not alone,' said Louise Chernin, GSBA president & CEO. 'That is what the GSBA Guarantee is all about. This level of ongoing support and commitment provides hope and affirmation to a group of students who all too often don't have traditional means of support.'

'The GSBA Scholarship Fund will support students until they walk across the stage with degree in hand, up to four years of undergraduate education,' said Travis Mears, GSBA director of development & scholarship programs. 'It is no longer about just getting students into college; it's about getting them through college. Our community is committed to supporting students beyond the dollar.'

GSBA Scholarship Fund Chair, Stephanie Dallas, said, 'LGBTQ students are far less likely to have the quality familial and institutional ties of other students. This means that it is crucial for us as a community to step up and offer not a hand but rather, two hands! On a micro-level we are funding hopeful, vibrant and deserving scholars, and on a macro-level we are funding tomorrow's leaders and shaping our community's very own future.'

The GSBA Scholarship Fund 2017 scholarship application for LGBTQ and allied students is officially open. Scholarships are available to students who are pursuing post-secondary studies at community colleges, public or private four-year colleges and universities, vocational, technical, and trade schools.

According to Dittmer, as both a business chamber and a scholarship fund, GSBA has access to some of the brightest minds in the region and the ability to harness the power within the community to support student success while promoting diversity and equality.

'Shepherding scholars through their undergraduate education by providing persistent financial support puts GSBA at the forefront of the college success movement,' GSBA officials said.

During its 26-year history, the GSBA Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $2.7 million in scholarships to over 600 LGBTQ and allied students.

GSBA scholars represent a diverse group of students who have dreams of making our community and the world a better place, and each of them possesses the skills, talents, and dedication to make those dreams a reality, say officials. GSBA realizes that today's students are tomorrow's leaders and is committed to supporting our community's future leaders by providing financial resources, role-modeling and hope to outstanding LGBTQ and allied students, many who have no traditional means of support. For more information, visit www.theGSBAscholarship.org.

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