This scholarship was established by Carol Kerley and Linda Dunham in 2013 to support LGBTQ-identified students with preference given to students with physical disabilities and/or students who have faced economic hardship.
Words from the Creators:
Joey Kerley, my older brother who had cerebral palsy, was an example of unconditional love toward others as well as acceptance of his own limited situation. I spent many years of my life ‘invisible’ as a lesbian woman and was connected all my life to his disability and treatment. He was my greatest teacher.
Growing up with a severely handicapped older brother in the age pre-Vietnam, I was daily reminded of the discrimination in our country against the disabled. They were ‘hidden’ and often forgotten in the world before our vets returned from the war. My parents were told at his birth to put him in a home and forget they ever had him. I grew up watching people stare at him, make fun of him and ignore him. He was the first person I felt I could totally trust in my family to accept my partner and me as a couple.
Growing up in a time when being ‘outed’ was my greatest fear, I wanted to dedicate this scholarship to the courage of those who learn to live life with a disability and are also LGBTQ. Disabled LGBTQ recipients often have a difficult set of issues to cope with in their lives, and we hope this scholarship can support them. We are eager to help those who need support to pursue higher education.
Carol Kerley and Linda Dunham live in Langley, Washington on Whidbey Island.