The Pride Foundation's Scholarship Program Turns 20

Since 1985, the Pride Foundation has provided over $38 million in grants to LGBT efforts in the Northwest, becoming a big player in LGBT philanthropy in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The foundation is currently reviewing its grant guidelines, with plans to announce new guidelines later this spring, though they don't expect any major changes. They plan to accept grant applications next in June 2013.

While the Pride Foundation is working to make its grant process as effective as it can be, the Foundation is celebrating 20 years of another initiatvie: their scholarship program. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to more than 1,000 students. The average scholar receives around $4,300 in aid from the Foundation. Scholarships are available to all, but preference is given to LGBT and ally students who reside in the Foundation's five-state region. The scholarships, though, can be used at any institution of higher learning, not just within the region. The scholarships can be used for any type of post-secondary education, from vocational school to law school and everything in between.

In 2012, Pride Foundation awarded scholarships to 94 students of all ages. In total, the Foundation offers over 50 different scholarships, many in conjunction with other entities. The process is streamlined, though, with scholars only having to submit one application. All of the scholarships emphasize a commitment to equality and civil rights.

By providing these post-secondary education scholarships to LGBT and ally scholars, Pride Foundation hopes to help build and strengthen the next generation of leaders in the fight for LGBT rights. Also, as the Foundation notes, LGBT youths can often be isolated from their families or communities and lacking in the financial support of family that is necessary to make a college education accessible.

The Pride Foundation's scholarship program is more evidence that LGBT philanthropy can take many forms. Congratulations to the program for its 20 years of good work and good luck to the next group of applicants.