Potential leadership activities include, but are not limited to, leadership in Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA), student government, civic or community based organizations or religious organizations. Demonstrated leadership in other areas will be considered. Applicants should also demonstrate personal growth and the desire to make a difference in the world.
An ideal candidate self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. As this is a public award, applicants should consider their comfort level with being selected. Winners can expect to have their likeness and biography used in press materials and at public events.
Each person who applies for a SMYAL scholarship is evaluated on the totality of their situation. Academic achievement, personal merit, leadership, involvement in the LGBT community, professional experiences, financial need, marginalization, personal and future goals are all taken into consideration.
Individual awards are paid in cash to the individual in their first semester of college and can range up to $2,000. Winners must be enrolled in a fully accredited two or four-year college/university no later than Spring 2018. Awards will only be made to students who are enrolled and attending their selected institution. At this time, the SMYAL LGBTQ Youth Leadership Award Program is funded at $10,000 per year. A minimum of one award will be presented annually.
To be eligible for consideration by the SMYAL LGBT Youth Leadership Award Selection Committee, applicants must…
-Be a graduating high school senior residing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. This includes the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
-Supply an official copy of their most recent transcript from high school.
-List institutions where active applications have been submitted and supply a copy of any acceptance letters already in hand.
-Submit a personal essay (maximum 1,500 words) answer the question "As an out LGBT leader, how have you positively impacted the lives of those around you, either in your school or local community?" The essay should also address your personal growth as a leader and your future goals and aspirations.
-Submit two (2) letters of support from individuals who can from firsthand experience address the candidate’s suitability for this award.
-Not be related to any member or to the spouse/domestic partner of any member of the SMYAL Youth Leadership Award Selection Committee and/or SMYAL board or staff.
Financial need may be considered in situations where the students are equally qualified. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit a copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) to assist this process. The SAR is a summary of the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Contact your school’s counseling office for assistance with the FAFSA.
Qualified individuals wishing to be considered for the SMYAL Youth Leadership Award must complete the application at SMYAL.org/Scholarship and include all required supporting documents by April 14, 2017. If an application or any supporting documents cannot be submitted online, they can be mailed to:
SMYALAttn: Youth Leadership Award Committee410 7th St SEWashington, DC 20003
QUESTIONS SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants must send in:
1) An official copy of their most recent transcript from high school.
2) A list of institutions where active applications have been submitted and a copy of any acceptance letters already in hand.
3) A personal essay (maximum 1,500 words) answering the question "As an out LGBT leader, how have you positively impacted the lives of those around you, either in your school or local community?" The essay should also address your personal growth as a leader and your future goals and aspirations.
4) Two (2) sealed letters of support from individuals who from firsthand experience can address the candidate’s suitability for this award.
Optional: A copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).