HRC Blog

HRC Foundation Launches 2nd Year of Scholarships for LGBT and Allied Student Activists

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Today, the HRC Foundation launched the second year of the Generation Equality Scholarships for LGBT and allied students who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the fight for queer equality. The three $2,000 scholarships are part of the HRC Foundation’s Youth and Campus Outreach Program, which aims to provide tools, facilitate connections and empower young people to fight for LGBT equality on campus and beyond. This year, we will be awarding one $2,000 scholarship in each of the following categories:

  • First-year students
  • Returning four-year school students
  • Returning community college students

The application deadline for academic year 2010-2011 is April 16, 2010. Scholarship recipients will be announced in mid- to late-June. To learn more and apply for a Generation Equality Scholarship, visit www.hrc.org/geneqscholarship. Candace Gingrich-Jones, Associate Director of the HRC Foundation’s Youth and Campus Outreach Program, had this to say about the launch of this year’s application:

We’re excited to once again be able to provide exceptional students with the funding that they need and deserve. The more than 1,000 applications we received last year not only illustrated the social and economic barriers queer young people today face, but also just how committed they are to making LGBT equality a reality within their schools, communities and country.

geneqscholarship_wordcloudPersonally, I most enjoyed reading the essay portion of the applications last year. The word cloud at the left shows the most common words used by students in response to the question “What do you see as the most significant challenge facing LGBTQ young people? What are your ideas for addressing this challenge?” While the cloud is merely a snapshot of what students said, many discussed their struggle for acceptance and the stereotypes, discrimination, harassment and hate they or their friends faced. Many mentioned feeling isolated, rejected, marginalized and powerless. Reading through hundreds of their essays was a poignant reminder of the hardships and struggles queer young people still face. But, as Candace said, reading students’ applications was also extremely heartening and reminded me why more than ever, young people today support LGBT equality. For our generation, anything less than full equality just doesn’t make sense – and we won’t settle for anything less either. I look forward to reading about everything this year’s applicants are doing to hasten the day when society makes sense again and everyone is treated fairly. And don’t forget that the Generation Equality Scholarships are part of more than 220 scholarships available to LGBT and allied students. We compiled the list of national, statewide and school-specific scholarships to ensure that as many young LGBT and allied activists as possible can reach and benefit from institutions of higher education. If you administer or know of one that is not currently included, please let us know so we can add it!

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