Community Provides Students with Meaningful Financial Support
This year, Pride Foundation will award more than $420,000 to 108 LGBTQ and allied students across its five-state region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). The community came together to celebrate the 2016 scholars at events in all five states—kicking-off in Seattle at McCaw Hall (at Seattle Center: 321 Mercer St) on Wednesday, May 25. 2016 Scholars, Keynote Speakers Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu and Dr. Benjamin Danielson, along with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray were on-hand to mingle with guests and media.
In 2015, Pride Foundation awarded $403,850 to 124 student leaders in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Since the program began in 1993, Pride Foundation has awarded more than $4 million and more than 1,500 scholarships—making it one of the largest LGBTQ scholarship programs in the country.
Pride Foundation’s Scholarship Program continues the legacy of Brian M. Day, who established the first scholarship fund in 1993. Since then, the program has provided essential financial resources and community support to LGBTQ and allied students across the Northwest—particularly those who are most vulnerable and marginalized.
While much has changed for the LGBTQ community since 1993, Pride Foundation’s scholarship program continues to affirm the vision and values of its founding—increasing access to educational opportunities and providing critical support to local leaders.
“Our scholarship program helps students have more time to focus on their studies and decreases the amount of loans students need to complete higher education,” said Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, we are able to affirm to LGBTQ and allied students that their educational success matters to our movement.”
Pride Foundation’s emphasis on increasing access to educational opportunities for LGBTQ students fills a unique need in the community. According to a report by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network), LGBTQ students often face increased harassment, isolation, low self-esteem, and a lack of support from administrators in navigating financial aid and support.
Given the current national landscape, there is an urgent need to support students, especially transgender and gender diverse students, in experiencing safe and affirming learning environments. When LGBTQ and allied students are supported in their educational goals, they will ultimately have the opportunity to learn and succeed in school and realize their full potential.
Pride Foundation scholars use their awards to help fund their studies in post-secondary educational pursuits, including two- and four-year degrees, vocational programs, and graduate studies. Scholars are pursuing a wide variety of degrees—from health and medical, to arts and humanities, to computer science, beauty school, engineering, vet technician, and more.
Pride Foundation remains committed to supporting the young people that are transforming our region—creating a future where LGBTQ youth, adults, and families can live safely, openly, and genuinely in their home communities.
Over the next two months, Pride Foundation will host celebrations throughout the region to honor their 2016 scholars. Click here for a full listing of events throughout the region.