WNY – Niagara Pride wants all LGBTQ+ high school students to know that the 2023 Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship portal is now open and accepting applications.

The scholarship program was established in 2021 and consists of a one-time $500 award to help aid in the costs of pursuing educational opportunities beyond high school. This scholarship is aimed primarily at benefiting those LGBTQ+ young adults, and allies, who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing social justice, reducing inequities, and increasing the overall health of their community. The scholarship was established in memory of Jean Hopkins, a life-long resident of Niagara Falls and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Jean devoted her life to helping other people, from helping her friends and relatives with projects around their houses, to being active in church and community activities, to working with several LGBTQ+ organizations.
To apply, go to the following link: https://forms.office.com/r/URSmp0X7tw

The application deadline is April 30, 2023. Winner(s) will be announced in June 2023.

Applicant Criteria

We invite all students that meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Must be 18 years of age, or able to provide parental consent to apply for the scholarship;
  • Currently a senior in high school with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or a minimum B average;
  • Must be pursuing full-time registration for the fall semester of the 2023-2024 school year at an accredited community college, four-year public or private college or university, certificate program, or vocational/technical/trade program;
  • Identify as LGBTQ+ and/or has demonstrated support of the LGBTQ+ community; and
  • Reside in Western New York (Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee, and Orleans counties)

Application Requirements:

In order for the application to be considered complete, you will need to:

  1. Submit via email to the Scholarship Committee (scholarship@niagarapride.org) all the following documents
    • Resume detailing work experience, extracurricular activities, and volunteering experience
    • Unofficial high school transcript that includes the first semester of the 2022-2023 school year
    • Proof of acceptance and enrollment in the 2023-2024 school year at an accredited community college, four-year public or private college or university, certificate program, or vocational/technical/trade program;
  2. Complete the online application, where you will be asked to complete three short essays from a list of 10 essay topic choices (https://forms.office.com/r/URSmp0X7tw)
  3. Sit for a 30-minute interview, in person or via zoom call.

Niagara Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ+ individuals and families in Niagara County and WNY. They offer educational programming, engage in charitable works, and offer social programming to create safe and welcoming environment for all those who identify as LGBTQ+ living throughout WNY. They rely primarily on donations to provide these services and have no paid staff…only volunteers.

Some of the services Niagara Pride offers include:

  • LGBTQ+ Diversity and Inclusivity Trainings for businesses and organizations – over 7,000 individuals, both locally and nationally, attended these trainings throughout the year.
  • Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship – a $500 scholarship was awarded to a graduating high school senior pursuing higher education.
  • Niagara County GSA Grants – seven $500 grants were given to local GSAs to help fund LGBTQ+ diversity programs at their high schools.
  • Know Your Status – a campaign designed to provide free sexual health information and resources to residents of WNY as well as create an online tool that allows individuals to easily locate HIV/AIDS and STI testing sites throughout the 8 counties of Western New York.
  • WNY LGBTQ+ Youth Vocational Training Conference – a one day event aimed at providing LGBTQ+ youth between the ages of 15-21 with lifelong skills and tools to seek employment, create resumes, interview for jobs, and effectively seek out training programs.
  • WNY LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Fair – an opportunity for community members to learn about LGBTQ+ specific and/or affirming programs, services, and resources offered by local community service providers.
  • WNY Pride 5K – a virtual 5K race/walk in WNY with a focus of bringing awareness to, while also celebrating the local WNY LGBTQ+ Community
  • Community-based Pride Celebrations – Niagara Falls Pride, Newfane Pride, North Tonawanda Pride (in partnership with the Oliver Street Merchants Association)…and coming in 2023, Lockport Pride!
  • And in partnership with other agencies, Niagara Pride has been able to offer groups/services for addictions and housing discrimination assistance.

For more information about Niagara Pride, check out their website at www.niagarapride.org, email them at info@niagarapride.org, or check them out on Facebook (Niagara Pride (serving all of WNY)).