Scholarships: The Queer Scholars Program

The Queer Foundation Effective Writing and Scholarships Program provided, nationwide, $1,000 college scholarships to outstanding LGBTQA high school students, winners of an annual essay contest to promote queer studies to improve the educational situation of queer youth.

The program was founded on the idea that competing in the essay contest gave academically talented LGBTQA students another means and reason to be out and proud members of their communities—small or large—and to recognize that sexual minority status is seen as a plus.

Purpose

To enable LGBTQA youth, by means of their studies and effective writing, to contribute to building a stable future for queer youth through business/community involvement and self-directed improvement.

How Were Queer Scholars Selected?

Successful gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their friends volunteering their time would identify and coach talented and academically gifted queer youth in writing an essay dealing with the announced theme. Their friends could also submit essays. A panel of judges evaluated the essays. Authors of winning essays were invited to an interview and, upon passing the interview and reference check, were awarded $1,000 scholarships to the U.S. college or university of their choice.

What Support Did Queer Scholars Receive and What Was Expected of Them?

Queer Scholars received, as needed, mentoring, academic advising, and tutoring to enable them to succeed in their studies. In return they would be expected to (a) maintain a suitable grade point average as determined by the college or university, (b) practice self care, and (c) give back to the community through doing community service, authoring queer studies papers, and/or mentoring high school or other college students. There was, however, no required check-in or report back.