FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2008
CONTACT: Adam Ratliff (202) 467-8180, ext. 212 / email@example.com
PFLAG ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS
Recipients Include LGBT Students and Allies Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Equality in their Schools and Communities
WASHINGTON, DC - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) announced today that it has awarded thirteen scholarships, totaling more than $30,000, to students across the country - and one at a U.S. military base in Japan - who have made significant contributions to equality in their schools and communities. This marks the fifth year that PFLAG has awarded the scholarships, which are funded by the Palmer B. Carson Trust and other private donors, including the Gay, Lesbian and Allies at Dow (GLAD) Employee Network and the New York Gay Football League.
"PFLAG is enormously proud to recognize these exceptional young leaders and to salute their hard work, academic achievement and community service," said Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of PFLAG. "Every day, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, and their allies, overcome unimaginable obstacles to succeed and proposer in our schools. These honorees have not only fought those obstacles, but have thrived and inspired their fellow students, teachers and families."
Among the recipients of PFLAG's National Scholarship Program awards are:
Hannah Johnson, recipient of the Jeanne Manford PFLAG Memorial Scholarship
Hannah has been active in her school's Gay Straight Alliance for over two years, planning and presenting at conferences, and has worked to educate people in her community about GLBT issues. She has been a member of Proud Theater, a youth-activist GLBT theater group. She has also canvassed for FairWisconsin and the League of Conservation Voters. Hannah is a graduate of West High School in Madison, Wisconsin.
Joseph Kopyt, recipient of the Palmer B. Carson PFLAG Memorial Scholarship
Joseph has been active in his school's student newspaper and as an Assistant Director in his school's theater group. He has also been involved in his community's Big Sibling program, helping new students in his high school adjust. Joseph is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School in New York City, New York.
Nolan Green, recipient of the PFLAG Straight for Equality Scholarship
Nolan served as the President of his school's Gay Straight Alliance, in addition to serving as the Co-President of his school's chapter of Amnesty International. He has organized an annual Human Rights Day with his fellow students and also finds time to teach guitar lessons. Nolan is a graduate of Edina High School in Edina, Minnesota.
Matthew Macchietto, recipient of the Dow GLBT Scholarship
Matthew has been active in his school's Gay Straight Alliance and has organized both an Anti-Bullying Week and a Coming Out Week. He also volunteered at the Nebraska AIDS Project, and was the Design Editor for Xanadu and Pundit magazines. Matthew is a graduate of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska.
Samantha Cannon, recipient of the Dow Straight Ally Scholarship
Samantha founded her Department of Defense school's Gay Straight Alliance, and her work has been featured in the military base newspaper, chronicling the club's struggle for the same rights as other student groups. She also founded her school's Sign Language Club and is Vice-President of Student Council. Samantha is a graduate of Robert D. Edgren High School in Misawa AB, Japan.
Alicia Saldana, recipient of the Palmer B. Carson PFLAG Nevada Resident Scholarship
Alicia established and served as the President of her school's Gay, Straight, Lesbian Alliance. She has also served as the Treasurer of her school's Chess and Board Club. Outside of school she has been an active and important member of the ROTC leadership team and has worked toward community improvement. Alicia is a graduate of Edward C. Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada.
Gloria Garcia, recipient of the Esera Tuaolo PFLAG Scholarship
Gloria has been an active player on her school's basketball team, and an honor roll student whose schedule includes honor-level courses. She has been active in her school's Spanish Club, and Challenge Day Club, along with participating in theater, and music. She has also been active in community volunteering. She is a graduate of Bluffton High School in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Claire Seger, recipient of the PFLAG National Scholarship
Claire is both the founder and President of her school's Social Justice Club, the Vice President of the German Club, as well as a member of the National Honors Society. She has served as a Student Ambassadors Officer and has interned with the Conference for Inclusive Communities, which spreads a message for tolerance and acceptance of marginalized groups. Claire is a graduate of Harry A. Burke Sr. High School in Omaha, Nebraska.
Calvin Iverson, recipient of the PFLAG NationalScholarship
Calvin is a student leader in his school's Gay Straight Alliance, and he has been active in the school's Day of Silence activities. He is also active in his school's theater - including the Lexington Youth Summer Theater - and law enforcement club. He is a graduate of Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Nina Torres, recipient of the PFLAG National Scholarship
Nina is Co-President of her school's Gay Straight Alliance, as well as founder and Captain of Mock Trial, Co-President of Ballroom Dancing, and has worked as a student tutor in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, tutoring at-risk students. Nina is a graduate of Andrew P. Hill High School in San Jose, California.
Michael Tofte, recipient of the PFLAG National Scholarship
Michael has been active in his school's GLBT Youth Group, and served as Captain of his school's Debate Team, where he has won several awards in Public Debate. He has also been active in food and toy drives for the needy of his community, such as Toys for Tots and Food for Lane County. He is a Graduate of Winston Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon.
Tonei Glavinic, recipient of the PFLAG National Scholarship
Tonei has been active with the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) as both a member of its national Jump-Start Leadership Team as well as its National Advisory Council. Tonei has been a Gay-Straight Alliance facilitator and also served as the co-chair of the Steller School Advisory Board. Tonei is a graduate of Steller Secondary School in Anchorage, Alaska.
Sage Trail, recipient of the PFLAG National Scholarship
Sage has been active in her school's Gay Straight Alliance, both serving as the President and helping in the formation of the club. She has served as a peer mentor, educator, and leader for the overnight freshmen orientation and communication sessions run by her school. She has participated in Amnesty International, Key Club, the National Honor Society, and has acted as an advocate for animal rights issues. Sage is a graduate of Ashland High School in Ashland, Oregon.
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PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. For more information, visit