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New scholarship for queer youth leaders

BC gay business group offers $2,000

IT PAYS TO BE ACTIVE. Three $2,000 Leadership Opportunity Unity Diversity (LOUD) scholarships will be offered to students in full-time post secondary education. Credit: glba.org

BC’s Gay and Lesbian Business Association (GLBA) has established a new scholarship fund for students actively involved in and contributing to the gay community.

Three $2,000 Leadership Opportunity Unity Diversity (LOUD) scholarships will be offered to students in full-time post secondary education.

So far, applicants include students who run gay-straight alliances at their schools or volunteer at AIDS workshops.

“This is about business leaders helping to educate and encourage tomorrow’s leaders for the GLBT community,” says GLBA board member and LOUD chair Tyler Wozny.

The scholarship foundation was established to “give back to the community at large and help fund the next leaders, the next businesses, the next entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” Wozny continues.

The scholarships will cover enrollment at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and other post-secondary colleges and trade schools.

“It was a tough decision trying to find out how to tailor towards the GLBT community,” Wozny notes. “People wanted it to just be for GLBT people, but it’s quite difficult. Do you ask if they’re gay? Do you say I don’t believe you? How does that work? How do they prove it? It needs to be quantifiable, so we instead decided to have the mandate of ‘first you give and then you get.'”

The official scholarship awards ceremony in May will also open doors to potential mentoring.

“We’ll do our best to try and hook up people who are focused in a certain area where the scholarship recipients are focused. Maybe if they want to get into being an entrepreneur and starting their own business. Well, we’ve tons of business owners who can give tons of great advice,” Wozny says.

The deadline to apply for this year’s LOUD scholarships is Jan 31. Call 604.739.4522 for more information.