Courage to Be LGBT - Scholarships for Missouri Students
Organized by: Jacob Wilson
Announcing the 2016 Missouri Courage Scholars
May 10, 2016
(9/1) Due to an outpouring of support, we are now able to provide two Courage Scholarships and today are announcing our third, the Trans Courage Scholarship. The Trans Courage Scholarship will recognize and affirm the courage of transgender and gender non-conforming students and award at least one annual scholarship to either a trans student or someone working to make their community affirming of trans people. The tragic reality of at least 20 transgender Americans being murdered so far in 2015, one in Kansas City, as well as news of students and parents protesting a young trans woman's right to use the bathroom that matches her gender in Hillsboro reminds us that while the LGBT community has made great strides, much more must be done to enhance the rights, safety, and dignity of transgender and gender non-conforming people across Missouri and the US. Please visit www.courage-scholarship.org for more information.
Yesterday (7/14) was truly amazing. I didn’t know if people would care, much less donate, to create an LGBT scholarship in my hometown, but I was hopeful. In less than a day, we EXCEEDED the initial goal, raising over $3000 for the Courage Scholarship. But I’m not finished and hope you will help us build on the momentum. I would like to raise $12,000 -- $1,000 for each month the Commission voted to “mourn” equality. This would support more Courage Scholarships AND create a statewide award open to all Missouri students working to change hearts and minds in their communities.
This is about more than a flag or even scholarships. It’s about sending a message of love and acceptance to drown out hate. And most importantly, it’s about making life better for LGBT youth today, not just telling them that, someday, things will get better. For more information about the Courage Scholarship, read below!
Creating the Courage Scholarship for LGBT and Allied Students in Salem, MO
LGBT teens in rural America have many hurdles to overcome in order to live happy, healthy lives. On July 13th, The Salem News reported that county officials voted unanimously to fly flags at government buildings at half-staff once a month for the next year to protest, “the U.S. high court’s stamp of approval of what God speaks of as an abomination.” This isn't just about the flag; it tells the community that LGBT people do not deserve equal rights and dignity. This discriminatory, hateful message is harmful and hurtful to LGBT people and our straight allies, but it especially has the potential to negatively impact LGBT youth in the community. And that's why need to show LGBT youth in Salem that we have their back, even if many back home do not.
Your donation will fund the annual Courage Scholarship that will acknowledge, affirm, and reward the courage of graduating seniors at Salem High School who have demonstrated their willingness or show great potential to work for change in their community that advances the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people and other groups that have historically faced discrimination and been pushed to the margins. It takes courage to go against the grain, to stand up for what you believe when it differs from your community, and to live authentically in the face of adversity and hostility. These seemingly small acts are not easy but have the power to change the world one heart and one mind at a time.
Your donation will support these courageous students and help them fund their college education. While LGBT students and straight allies who are working to improve the lives of LGBT people are strongly encourage to apply for the scholarship, all students who work to advance the lives of people of color, religious minorities, women, immigrants, and people with disabilities will be considered, as the advancement and inclusion of any marginalized group is essential to the empowerment of all who have been marginalized.
Please message Jacob if you have questions or would like to support this effort.