This year, the Pride Center was honored to award $20,000 to ten amazing LGBT high school seniors in the Capital Region. They came from diverse backgrounds, and are headed off to two and four year colleges and universities. All of them impressed the Scholarship Committee with their devotion to kindness and commitment to empowering the LGBT community. On Friday June 3, all ten were presented with their award and recognized for their achievements. This year’s awardees include: Victoria Clo Victoria graduated from Albany High School and plans to attend SUNY Plattsburg in the fall. She intends to major in Elementary Education, with the goal of teaching Pre-K to 3rd grades in the future. Victoria has been involved with many of the Pride Center’s programs, including the Queer Youth Chorus and the Youth Group. She works at the New York State Museum, was a camp counselor for the Boys and Girls Club and volunteered with the AIDS Walk and numerous athletic, academic and artistic functions at her school. Alicia Hagadone Alicia is a graduate of Gloversville High School who will attend the Culinary Institute of America, with the aspiration of becoming an executive chef in New York City. She was a strong advocate in her high school for LGBT students and people experiencing discrimination. She worked with the school Gay-Straight Alliance to increase the visibility of the need for stronger protections in schools. She is looking forward to continuing this work in the future. Collin Kather Collin is an Albany High School graduate planning to attend Hunter College in the fall. There he plans to study Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, with the hopes of becoming an international linguist traveling to promote peace. In high school Collin was an active participant in the Gay Straight Alliance, serving as its student advisor his senior year. He was also actively involved in theater, starring in productions at the Albany High School and Park Playhouse. Estelle Kline Estelle graduated from Shaker High School where she was the Gay Straight Alliance student advisor for two years in a row, and excelled in art and music. She was involved with GLSEN, and spoke out on many occasions about the need for LGBT protections in schools. She will attend the Maryland Institute College of Art in the fall, with the aspiration of continuing her activism through artistic expression. Evan LaFortune Evan is a graduate of Plattsburgh High School, who moved to the Capital Region in search of a more accepting environment. He plans to attend Hudson Valley Community College in the fall to pursue a degree in fine arts. His two passions are art and writing, and while in school he was involved in the debate team, theater and his Gay Straight Alliance. He volunteers with the Albany Public Library and the Addictions Care Center of Albany. He has been involved with Pride Center programs, and looks forward to more involvement with the LGBT community in the future. Sierra Monroe Sierra is a 2011 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School who will attend the University of Vermont in the fall. Sierra plans to pursue a degree in English at college with the hopes of becoming a journalist. In high school, Sierra was an active member of her Gay-Straight Alliance and was a regular participant in the National Coalition Building Institute workshops at her school to promote acceptance among faculty and students of diverse experiences. Jared Pappas Jared is a graduate of Niskayuna High School planning to attend Schenectady County Community College to study floristry. In high school, Jared was an active member of Visibility, the Gay-Straight Alliance at his school, even serving as its student advisor his senior year. He is looking forward to continuing his work for the LGBT community in college. Adam Sanzone Adam is a graduate of Troy High School planning to attend Hudson Valley Community College in the fall. He would like to study Political Science, with the hopes of working in government to advance LGBT equality. He is an intern with the Troy City Council, and has been involved with programs at the Pride Center, the Food Bank and Haiti Relief fundraising, among many other volunteer activities. He is also a member of the Albany Bombers gay hockey team. Rachael Seider Rachael is an Ichabod Crane High School graduate who will major in communications at Cazenovia College in the fall. She is a youth board member of Hudson Pride, has worked with the Human Rights Campaign and has volunteered for causes like homeless animals, hunger prevention and done work with Habitat for Humanity. Rachael is interested in becoming a journalist in the future to advance the causes she feels passionate about. Margaret Weis Margaret is a graduate of Shaker High School who plans to attend SUNY New Paltz. While her degree track is currently undecided, Margaret is certain she wants to pursue a career that will make a difference in the world we live in. In high school, she volunteered with the Pride Center, was involved with her Gay Straight Alliance and GLSEN and won numerous writing, arts and Russian contests. The Joshua Dunning Powell Scholarship was created in 2010 by local philanthropist Joshua Dunning Powell to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students who are in need of financial support to defray the cost of a college education. To date, this scholarship fund has made access to college easier for sixteen local LGBT youth. We cannot thank Mr. Powell enough for making this possible, and we wish all of the scholarship recipients luck in their first year of college!