On Wednesday, May 24, Pride Foundation announced scholarships to 108 students from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington totaling $438,000 - the largest total award in the organization's history.
Pride Foundation is the largest source of scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students in the country. These scholarships, which range from $3,000 to $14,000, seed the next generation of leaders in the LGBTQ community and support remarkable students who are engaged in a range of studies that will benefit the LGBTQ movement and the world.
Students supported include:
Miki Cabell grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and dropped out of school in 6th grade. Miki is now enrolled in a PhD program in education with the goal of becoming a teacher.
Lexi Bergeron is pursuing a degree in psychology at the University of Oregon. Lexi is one of the first openly transgender women to be accepted to a national sorority - Kappa Alpha Theta.
Cynthia DeVille will study Industrial Electronics Technology at Lewis and Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho. Cynthia is the first openly transgender athlete in the Northwest Athletic Conference.
Jillian Saxton-Moody of Fairbanks, AK is pursuing a PhD in public health with the goal of eliminating youth suicide in Alaska.
Michelle Knerr is an aspiring rural veterinarian who lives on a ranch in Lewistown, MT.
Erika Kumar of Issaquah, WA dreams of becoming a surgeon dedicated to working in war zones in the Middle East.
Ryan DePauw, a first-generation college student who has experienced homelessness and struggled with addiction, is attending Portland Community College with the intention of becoming a speech pathologist.
Eliot Feenstra, a farmer, teacher, and artist, is pursuing an MFA at Portland State University.
'These scholarships provide vital support to students who have often had to overcome enormous hurdles, both societal and financial,' said Pride Foundation CEO, Kris A. Hermanns.
'I look forward to seeing their impact on our community and our world and I am thrilled that Pride Foundation has the ability to provide substantial support to enable these students to achieve their dreams.'
Since its inception in 1993, Pride Foundation's scholarship program has awarded more than $4.8 million to 1,292 individual scholars.
Recipients are leaders in the LGBTQ community and they either currently live or grew up in the Northwest. This year's scholars hail from every corner of the region - from North Pole, Alaska to Kalispell, Montana and Sherwood, Oregon and include native peoples from the Blackfoot and Cherokee nations, students of Irish, Jamaican, and Korean ancestry, as well as Latino/a/x and African Americans students, and refugees from the Middle East who now call the Northwest home. Their ages range from 17 years old to nontraditional students in their 50s.
These scholarships have proved to be life-changing for students like Miki Cabell, 'The largest challenge I have ever faced is my inner landscape, and embracing the knowledge that this Gaelic/Lakota girl with a sixth-grade education and a GED she earned in Purdy deserves to be here creating a voice of authority. The financial support, along with the psychological lift of scholarship funding has made me dare to believe.'
Members of the public can meet these inspiring students at local events taking place around the region. The Seattle celebration will be held on Wednesday, May 31, at 5:30pm, at McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St.). Learn about other celebrations in the region at https://www.pridefoundation.org/what-we-do/scholarships/scholarship-events/
Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation is a regional community foundation serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Its mission is to inspire giving to expand opportunities and advance full equality for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) people in the Northwest. Learn more at www.pridefoundation.org.
Courtesy of Pride Foundation
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