PFLAG San Diego County Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Launching Leaders Scholarship Awards

PFLAG San Diego County Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Launching Leaders Scholarship Awards
February, 2016 Client News

SAN DIEGO – Feb. 19, 2016 – San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) is partnering with PFLAG San Diego County to present the 2016 Launching Leaders Scholarship Awards. The scholarship application process is now open through March 15, and the winners will be recognized at the annual Launching Leaders Luncheon on Friday, May 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Corky McMillin Companies Event Center at Liberty Station where 15 LGBT students from around San Diego County will be recognized for their exemplary academic achievements and leadership vision.

“We still live in a time when being LGBT and out at school can lead to bullying which, in turn, impacts a student’s ability to excel academically,” said Ian Morton, senior program analyst with San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, who is also the event producer for the Launching Leaders awards luncheon. “Having the chance to reward and honor these young people, many who have overcome significant blows to their self-esteem, is one of the most gratifying efforts with which I am involved.”

The PFLAG Scholarships to be awarded currently include the following:

  • Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship
  • John McCusker Memorial Scholarship
  • Richard P. Geyser Memorial Ethics Scholarship
  • John Bessemer Memorial Scholarship
  • Raytheon STEM Scholarship
  • Mary Wagner Memorial Scholarship
  • Stephen G. Bowersox Memorial Scholarship

In 2015, ten students from diverse backgrounds were honored at the annual awards luncheon for their efforts in their chosen fields, including local students from High Tech High Point Loma, High Tech High Chula Vista and Kearny High School. Not only does the Launching Leaders Scholarship Awards have a local reach, but also regional as students from Mills College (Oakland, CA) and the University of California, Santa Cruz were recognized.

Award of all scholarships will be calculated upon a well-written application essay, demonstration of financial need, a history of strong academic achievement and compliance of all application requirements. Potential applicants need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for High School Seniors
  • Minimum 2.8 GPA for Undergraduate/Graduate Students
  • Resident of San Diego County at time of application
  • LGBT high school senior continuing to full-time undergraduate study or
  • LGBT full-time undergraduate or graduate student
  • Attend the San Diego PFLAG Launching Leaders Luncheon on Friday, May 13, 2016 in-person.

Scholarship applications are to be submitted electronically via the PFLAG Scholarship website or emailed to by March 15, 2016. Once chosen, the scholarship recipients will be contacted directly and announced at the Launching Leaders Luncheon.

Sponsorships are available and the public is also invited to sponsor a table at the awards luncheon on May 13. For more information on sponsorships, how to apply for a scholarship, event details and more, visit here.

2016 PFLAG Launching Leaders Luncheon
Hosted by San Diego Human Dignity Foundation and PFLAG San Diego County
Friday, May 13, 2016
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Corky McMillin Companies Event Center (Liberty Station)
2875 Dewey Road

San Diego, CA 92106

About the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF), which will celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2016, is the sole community foundation in the San Diego region dedicated to the benefit of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. SDHDF funds programs and projects that promote equal treatment, tolerance, wellness, well-being, and above all else, human dignity. We work to strengthen LGBT organizations and leadership. The organization nurtures philanthropic giving to support LGBT people and address important issues such as aging, arts and culture, health and wellness, youth and families, and civil rights. For more information, visit Connect on Facebook and Twitter.

About PFLAG Scholarships
Since 1998, PFLAG San Diego County has overseen the awarding of over 80 scholarships in the amount of $116,000 to LGBT scholars. The portfolio of scholarship awards over-seen by the PFLAG Scholarship Committee continues to increase, including scholarships funded through former and current PFLAG members, the Rob Benzon Foundation, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, and the Raytheon LGBT STEM Scholarship, among others. The scholarships are awarded to LGBT high school seniors continuing on to higher education or full-time undergraduate and graduate students through a competitive application and essay process. The scholarship committee selects recipients based on commitment to their chosen field, financial need and academic achievement. Launching Leaders produced in partnership with San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, serves as both a platform to honor recipients and a primary fundraiser for future scholarships. For more information, visit