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Scholarships

Academically Invested

PFLAG San Diego has teamed up with their members, non-profit supporters of LGBT youth, and individual sponsors to offer scholarships to San Diego County residents. The purpose of these scholarships is to recognize outstanding LGBT seniors in high school, undergraduate and graduate students, to encourage them to continue post-secondary education, and to promote a positive image of LGBT youth. PFLAG San Diego invites San Diego County LGBT students to apply for our scholarships.


Did You Know?

toddgloriaSan Diego City Council President and Interim Mayor Todd Gloria was one of the very first recipients of a PFLAG San Diego scholarship?

He took the time out of his very busy schedule to talk about his experience and how he put the scholarship to good use!

PFLAG: Tell us a little bit about your background (where you grew up and the high school you attended).

GLORIA: I am a native San Diegan. I attended James Madison High School in Clairemont.

PFLAG: What issues did you deal with as an out LGBT youth?

GLORIA: I encountered many of the same issues that today’s out LGBT youth deal with while growing up. There were the issues of bullying, name calling, and social isolation that are sadly too common. These challenges, in addition to typical adolescence angst, makes the high school experience for LGBT youth particularly tough and why support groups like PFLAG are so important.

PFLAG: How did you find out about the PFLAG scholarship program?

GLORIA: I learned about the PFLAG scholarship by reading a call for applications in the Gay & Lesbian Times. (The publication is no longer in print.)

PFLAG: How did you use your scholarship funds and what did you study in college?

GLORIA: I used my scholarship to cover the cost of books and other fees during my final year of college. It was a godsend as I ended my undergraduate studies in History and Political Science and prepared to enter the workforce.

PFLAG: Did you always want to be involved in public service?

GLORIA: Yes. I have always been drawn to serving my community. I volunteered a lot as a student. I started my career at the County of San Diego in the Department of Social Services and have never looked back. I feel fortunate to have a career that allows me to spend my time focused on making San Diego a better place to live for everyone.

PFLAG: Overall, why is higher education so important to San Diego’s LGBT Youth & community?

GLORIA: Knowledge is the currency of the 21st century economy. Higher education is what prepares today’s students to succeed in what is an increasing competitive environment where the talent pool is not only the students in your class, but students around the globe. In terms of the LGBT community, I believe that our youth have an obligation to build upon the opportunities created by our community’s trailblazers. If we want to continue our march toward full legal equality, we need well-educated young people capable of doing the hard work required in a civil rights movement.

PFLAG: If you could speak to any student who may be on the fence about applying, thinking they don’t have a chance or it’s too much work, what would you say to them?

GLORIA: I would encourage anyone who is considering applying for the PFLAG scholarship to just do it. We are fortunate to have a very generous community that wants to support our LGBT youth.


2014 Scholarships

PFLAG San Diego and its collaborators are pleased to offer these scholarships in 2014. Minimum scholarship amounts are $1,000, and more than one scholarship may be awarded in a given category. Applicants are encouraged to address the additional award factors considered for these named scholarships when submitting their essays.

John Bessemer Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is made possible through the generosity of PFLAG family and friends to honor John’s commitment to LGBTQ youth.  John, whose passion was education, was the husband of Linda Bessemer, a past president.

Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship
To honor a beloved and generous friend, Rob Benzon, the Rob Benzon Foundation Scholarship was created to recognize youth who demonstrate a giving spirit and charisma.

Stephen G. Bowersox Memorial Scholarship
Through the generosity of the family, friends and co-workers of the Donna and James Bowersox family, this scholarship has been sustained. Their son, Stephen, was the recipient of a 2003 scholarship.  Jim and Donna have committed to continual funding of the scholarship. This award is strongly predicated on social justice, demonstrated involvement and high academic achievement, as well as broad, far-reaching interests and activities.

Richard P. Geyser Memorial Ethics Scholarship at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
Funding for this scholarship was bequeathed by Philip Flick to honor his partner of 44 plus years and his commitment to ethics. Richard Geyser, who passed away in 2004, was the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation’s first board president and a founding member. See application for eligibility criteria.

John McCusker Memorial Scholarship at the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation
Established by the family and friends of John McCusker, a community leader, business owner, and San Diego Human Dignity Foundation board vice president, the Foundation has continued to fund this scholarship.

Raytheon STEM Scholarship
This is provided by the members of The Raytheon GLBTA Employee Resource Group as a STEM scholarship to attract, support and train future LGBT professionals in science, technology, engineering or math.

Mary Wagner Memorial Scholarship
Mary’s former partner, Sharon Murphy, and her life-long friends, Marilyn and Art Carpenter, have contributed annually to the scholarship to honor Mary’s memory and enduring commitment to education.


Scholarship Requirements

Application deadline is March 15, 2014.

Evaluation will be based upon commitment to the candidate’s goals in their chosen field, essay, financial need and academic achievement.

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Resident of San Diego County at time of application
  • LGBT high school senior continuing higher education or
  • LGBT full-time undergraduate or graduate student

Scholarship recipients must attend the San Diego PFLAG Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church of San Diego, 2111 Camino Del Rio South, in the Cove Building across from the church office building.

Call or email us today to find out how you can apply for a PFLAG scholarship.


Become a Sponsor

Annual and quarterly sponsorship recognition opportunities on our website and commercial advertisement options in our newsletter are available.

Please contact us for suggested donations.

 Apply for a Scholarship

Download Scholarship ApplicationClick here to download our Scholarship Application form.