18th Annual Colin Higgins Foundation Youth Courage Award Winners Each Receive $10,000 & Trip to Creating Change Conference
The Colin Higgins Foundation has announced its 18th Annual Youth Courage Award winners, whom it will recognize for extraordinary leadership and advocacy on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth. The 2018 winners are: Moises Rodriguez, 20, of Chicago, IL; Grace Dolan-Sandrino, 17, of Washington, DC; Mahad Olad, 20, of Ithica, NY and Dwayne Cole, Jr., 20, of Detroit, MI.
- Moises Rodriguez, a DACA recipient and community organizer, identifies as queer. He has shown tremendous courage in speaking his truth about both his sexual orientation and undocumented status. He is a leader in fighting for the rights of both immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
- Grace Dolan-Sandrino, an Afro-Latina trans teen, recently graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts high school and will be attending Bard College in upstate New York in the Fall. She uses her voice as a young artist and journalist to tell of her trans experience. Since she came out at a young age, she has been a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community.
- Mahad Olad a young gay Black African immigrant, has shared his harrowing story of escaping conversion therapy through his journalism. He writes about racial politics and the intersection of religion and sexuality for his college newspaper.
- Dwayne Cole, Jr. inspires his fellow LGBTQ youth activists by his kindness and his motivation to help others. He carves out inclusive spaces for the community and helps tell their story through his leadership.
Each winner will receive a $10,000 award as well as an all-expenses paid trip to attend the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change conference, a prominent LGBTQ advocacy and organizing event, in January 2019 in Detroit, MI.
“On those days when the future of our country looks bleak, we only have to look to these young people who inspire us with a renewed commitment to protect our communities and do good in the world,” said James Rogers, board president of the Colin Higgins Foundation. “The courage we see in each one of them Colin Higgins would have been extremely proud to support.”
Hollywood filmmaker, Colin Higgins established the Foundation in 1986 to support his humanitarian vision, with special focus on the LGBTQ community. Since his death in 1988, the Colin Higgins Foundation has awarded more than 650 grants totaling more than $5.6 million and since 2000 has honored more than 54 Courage Award winners.