The Aqua Foundation for Women (AFW) has released its 2019-20 slate of scholarship winners.
Promoting future LGBT women and trans/non-binary leaders in South Florida is an important part of AFW’s mission, and one way it accomplishes this is by awarding scholarships to benefit graduating high school, college and graduate students who play an active role in the community.
“Being an Aqua Scholar has impacted me tremendously,” said scholar recipient Aiyana Gonzalez. “I not only have the financial support, but I also have the support of the community I would like to impact upon graduation.”
Gonzalez is studying social work at Barry University in its MSW program.
“This year, thanks to the generosity of private donors and the support of Wells Fargo, who donated $12,500 for the scholarship program, we are able to award scholarships to 11 amazing LGBTQ students,” said AFW managing director Robin Schwartz.
Schwartz also shares that for the first time Aqua has a new, named scholarship especially for law students. The Elizabeth Schwartz Scholarship was created to honor Liz and to assure others continue in her legacy of activist lawyering for LGBTQ rights.
The 2019 Aqua Foundation for Women Scholars are: Kaylin Diaz, Melissa Drown, Ashauni Frazier, Aiyana Angeni Gonzalez, Jack Jordan, Pamela Lopez, Cathy Ng, Kelly Nair Rojas, Afton Seeley and Mery Yanez. Hannah Hays was awarded the Law Scholarship.
The Aqua scholarship recipients are pursuing a variety of disciplines, including: ecology evolution and global affairs, biomedical engineering; medicine; social work and psychology; all fields of study that position them to contribute to the LGBTQ community in unique ways. Individual scholarships ranged in size from $2,500 to $10,000.
“The scholarships were given to promising LGBT women and trans/NB students who were selected due to their outstanding academics, consistent commitment to the community, and their leadership potential,” says Aqua Scholarship Committee chair Gisela Vega.
The Aqua Foundation for Women Scholarship Program continues empowering LGBT people to grow personally and professionally by reducing their financial burden and by providing them with a mentor for guidance and support. The scholars also attend quarterly meetings and an Emerging LGBTQ Leadership Conference as well as work together on volunteer projects throughout the year.