Taking Pride In Education

Courtesy of Phoenix Pride, September 2017 Issue.

Phoenix Pride awarded $35,000 in individual scholarships at the organization’s ninth annual Phoenix Pride Community Spirit Awards June 23 at the Phoenix Art Museum.

The Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program is a charitable program to provide scholarships to self-identified LGBTQ college students. The funds for this program are administered by the Arizona Community Foundation. Since its inception in 2008, the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund has awarded $207,500 in scholarships.

“This is one of the most exciting points in Phoenix Pride’s year, as we have the opportunity to give back directly to the Arizona LGBTQ community, which is so supportive of our efforts year-round …,” said Justin Owen, Phoenix Pride executive director. “[W]e’re thrilled that this [year] has enabled us to … provide academic scholarships to individuals of merit, to further their education and personal development.”

The Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program continues to be supported by contributions from Phoenix Pride and community members who are committed to expanding the educational opportunities for the LGBTQ community.

“Phoenix Pride is committed to serving our entire community …” said Mark Leeper, Phoenix Pride board chairman. “By providing both fiscal resources and public recognition to deserving agencies and individuals who serve our population, we continue to live our mission of uniting and engaging individuals and organizations to empower, educate and support the Arizona LGBTQ community.”

Meet the 2017 Phoenix Pride Scholarship recipients:

Gabriel Ogbonnaya, Dan Galloway Scholarship recipient, (left) and Brett Armstrong.

Gabriel Ogbonnaya is an economics major at Arizona State University. During his high school years, his family moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Chandler, where he attended Campo Verde High School. Following high school, he went on to play football for Fort Lewis College, where he made the Dean's List every semester and was the recipient of the Rising Star in Economics (an award given to the best economics student that's not a senior). During his time at Fort Lewis, he was also empowered to returned to Arizona with ambitions to become a lawyer, with goals of breaking the glass ceiling of the underlying status quo, while being an advocate for minority groups.

Brett Armstrong is a patient care technician at John C. Lincoln Medical Center who completed the licensed practical nursing program through Gateway Community College in August. It wasn't until after the tragic and unexpected loss of his mother that he was able to follow through with his promise to her to further his passion and education. Armstrong plans to enter the registered nursing program at Glendale Community College while minoring in education, so that he can advance patient care as well as help others learn from his experiences.

Sidney Aronsohn (left) and Juan Hinojos.

Sidney Aronsohn recently graduated from Sunnyslope High School and can't wait to attend Arizona State University this fall, where she plans to double major in marketing and exercise and wellness.

Juan Hinojos will be starting his sophomore year at Arizona State University as a double majoring, in global studies and political science. Hinojos serves as the vice president of the Rainbow Coalition, a student coalition serving member organizations and LGBTQAI+ individuals on all ASU campuses, and is very involved within the social justice community, which allows him opportunities to give back by volunteering with multiple organizations.

Left ro right: Cody Holt, Tillie Jones and Jimmie Munoz.

Cody Holt is entering his senior year at Arizona State University where he is double majoring in global health and global studies with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. This year Holt will work as a community assistant at ASU and will also serve as the executive director for ASU Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Holt plans to pursue a master's degree in higher education and student affairs, and use this experience to work in international education policy. He hopes to continue empowering emerging student leaders by serving as a resource to them, and by improving access to higher education.

Tillie Jones is a graduate of Willow Canyon High School in Surprise where she served as the vice president the Pride Alliance, the LGBTQ+ group on campus, and president her senior year. This fall, Jones will be a freshman at Northern Arizona University, studying criminology and criminal justice. She intends on becoming an attorney, in which she will work to help marginalized and disenfranchised people in the legal system.

Jimmie Munoz is a first-generation Phoenix resident who has put his passion for education to work by serving on a local school board and continuing his community work through sustainability and green programs in South Phoenix. Munoz took the next step in his academic journey when he enrolled in the Masters of Sustainable Leadership Program at Arizona State University, dedicated to training leaders in sustainable development, urban planning and corporate social responsibility. Munoz hopes to dedicate his work to eliminating poverty and social inequality.

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