Palmer B. Carson Memorial Scholarship
Hometown: San Mateo, CA
College: San Francisco Art Institute
Eli actively participated in his school’s GSA before he came out as transgender. Although Eli had the support of his parents and some of his peers, he struggled with finding resources and complete acceptance within his school community. After doing extensive research, he finally found organizations and support groups committed to supporting transgender and gender non-conforming youth. After gathering the information necessary, Eli took the initiative to educate his school community around the challenges transgender and gender non-conforming students face in school. Through this work, school administrators asked Eli to design and help facilitate a gender studies class. Not only did Eli conduct the research necessary to design the syllabus, but he also co-facilitated two classes aimed at dismantling traditional notions of gender, homophobia and transphobia. In the fall, Eli will study at the San Francisco Art Institute where he plans to cultivate his artistic expression and continue his passion for educating communities unfamiliar with LGBT issues in the hopes of winning over more hearts and minds.
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