DeLand, FL - If you’re an LGBTQ+ student in need of some extra financial help with school, the Volusia-Flagler Rainbow Alliance has now opened applications for their 2022 scholarship.
The scholarship—worth around $500—is available for LGBTQ+ students currently enrolled in a college, trade school, or some time of educational internship. Stetson University Professor and Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Rainbow Alliance Dr. Meg Young said they’ve streamlined the application process and even made it easier for students to apply if they live in a non-affirming home.
This is accomplished by eliminating the requirement to provide statements of financial need, such as a copy of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which would also need a parent or guardian’s involvement. This can be tricky for some students, especially if they have yet to come out to their parents.
“We wanted to make sure it was a safe space and they can apply for this without a lot of financial baggage, or anything they need to prove as far as their parent’s income goes,” said Dr. Young.
Young said the scholarship is pretty flexible and is mostly earmarked for items that will “help further your education.” Even if you need groceries.
“That’s fine to use the $500 for groceries,” said Dr. Young. “If you need to buy books, use that $500 for books. Even if it’s rent.”
The application process is simple. Applicants must provide an email, their full legal name, and a preferred name if they choose to add one. Applicants may also provide their pronouns if they wish. Your date of birth, phone number, and the last four digits of your social security number are also required.
While the scholarship is open to residents of Volusia and Flagler Counties, those who simply just attend school in the area may also apply, as long as they have a mailing address within one of the two counties.
The application will also ask what your plans are for college or school and what you would like to do. You’ll also have a chance to provide any accolades you may have received in school.
So far, four applications have been submitted.
Dr. Young added that the alliance is working on raising more funds for the scholarship. On April 9, the Abbey Bar in DeLand will host a Drag Queen Bingo Night in order to raise funds for the scholarship.
The deadline to apply is April 1, and decisions will be announced on May 1. The application to the scholarship can be accessed by clicking here.