On May 19, a new batch of scholars officially became a part of Pride Foundation’s family of donors, volunteers, grantees, and scholars at the 2012 Scholarship Celebration Breakfast which took place at the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Seattle.
This year, Pride Foundation will give out the most it has ever awarded in scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and straight ally students. Ninety-four scholars either from or studying in the U.S. Northwest states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington, will receive a combined $400,000 from Pride Foundation’s scholarship program—one of the largest LGBTQ scholarship programs in the United States.
Keynote speaker and scholarship alumni George Froehle is one example of how Pride Foundation’s Scholarship Program positively impacts our community as scholars commit to community leadership and to supporting LGBTQ equality.
“A Pride Foundation Scholarship allowed me to pursue my career as a Physician Assistant working with the LGBTQ Community and with those infected by HIV,” says George.
Originally from Minnesota, George attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a B.A. in Sociology. While in Madison he worked for the Madison AIDS Network and traveled to South Africa to work with children impacted by HIV. He then moved to Seattle to work for Gay City Health Project. Most recently, he worked for the HIV Prevention Trials Unit as a Research Coordinator until returning to school to get a certification in Physician Assistant Studies. Now a Physicians’ Assistant, George is also a member of the Seattle Quake Rugby Club.
“My advice for future scholars is to know that the Pride Foundation believes in their goals, they believe in you, and they believe that you can accomplish your goals,” adds George. “No matter what your career plans are, being the best you can be and being out at your work, will provide the community with wonderful role models of what LGBTQ people can accomplish.”
“Pride Foundation scholarships represent what is best in our LGBTQ community—perseverance, hope, and generosity,” says Anthony Papini, Director of Educational Leadership at Pride Foundation. “George is an amazing example of why it is important to support emerging and existing leaders.”
“LGBTQ students often face additional barriers in pursuing their education and career goals. Our scholarship donors want to ensure these students—including straight ally students—have the opportunity to achieve their dreams,” adds Papini. “We, as a community, are supporting students at a critical moment in their lives so that they can positively impact their local communities and career fields.”
Pride Foundation’s Scholarship program began in 1993. Since then, it has awarded almost $3 million dollars to 1200 students. Scholarship awards support LGBTQ and straight ally students who have shown leadership to advance the LGBTQ community. The scholarships are intended to support various programs—2 year degrees, 4 year degrees, vocational programs and graduate studies, to students of all ages.