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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 10, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 19
Pride Foundation announces 2013 scholarship awards
Section One
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Pride Foundation announces 2013 scholarship awards

Grants to 89 students total more than $400k

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Pride Foundation marks the 20th anniversary of its scholarship program this year by awarding more than $403,000 to 89 LGBTQ and straight ally students in the U.S. Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

According to officials, since 1993, the foundation's scholarship program has awarded over $2.7 million to more than 1,100 recipients, making it one of the largest LGBTQ- and allied-focused scholarship programs in the world.

Among the recipients are 52 students from or studying in Washington who will receive more than $234,500 in scholarship awards, said officials.

Scholarship recipients will be honored by Pride Foundation donors, volunteers, and staff at the organization's 2013 Scholarship Celebration Receptions happening across the five-state region. In Washington, celebrations will be held on May 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Spokane, and on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Seattle Art Museum.

MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN
'It's amazing what we've accomplished in 20 years,' states Craig Williams, Pride Foundation's educational program officer. 'Each year, we have the privilege of giving scholarships to student leaders who advocate for expanded understanding of LGBTQ issues and real cultural change. We're able to do this year after year due to the continued generosity of our donors, fund holders, and volunteers.'

'Pride Foundation has opened doors of opportunity in my life. My dreams burn brighter than ever before,' shares Luis Mancheno, Pride Foundation scholar alum. 'I am on the journey my life is supposed to be, and Pride Foundation was there with me from the start.'

Each year, Pride Foundation relies upon its community volunteer-led review and selection processes that considers, respects, and understands the unique experiences, contributions, and pathways to education of LGBTQ and allied students. Recipients come from incredibly diverse personal and lived experiences as LGBTQ and allied people. As a Pride Foundation scholar, each student is recognized for their passion of giving back to the community and their existing and growing potential as a leader.

A COMMUNITY EFFORT
Scholars use their awards to help fund their studies toward post-secondary educational pursuits including two- and four-year degrees, vocational programs, and graduate studies.

Farand Gunnels, Pride Foundation's regional development organizer in Eastern Washington, notes that a core element of the scholarship program is to provide community support and encouragement to LGBTQ students. 'All too often LGBTQ students with tremendous promise give up on their educational dreams because they don't have the family, financial, and community support in place to pursue their education,' he says. 'Our donors and volunteers recognize the importance of supporting the success of existing and emerging leaders in order to achieve and sustain equality in our community.'

For more information about Pride Foundation's 2013 scholars and its scholarship program, visit www.pridefoundation.org.

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