I mentioned back in April that the group Black Skeptics Los Angeles was giving out “First in the Family” scholarships, aimed at helping students who were the first in their family to go to college. This year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation gave the group a $10,000 grant to expand the program:
They just announced the winners, and when you read excepts from their essays, you can tell the scholarships are helping a lot of promising individuals:
I live in between Koreatown and East Hollywood, communities of Los Angeles that face the most immigrant status challenges as a result of the current broken immigration system. The LGBTQ representation is very weak in both communities. It seems so odd that these communities fall behind in embracing the LGBTQ movement because undocumented immigrants and LGBTQ people share the same obstacles. These social movements should be more strongly intertwined.
During my Sophomore year of high school, I found out that I was undocumented, but didn’t know what that meant. I wanted to enroll in college classes offered at my school for free, but I needed a social security number. I confronted my parents several times about the situation; however, I was unsuccessful in getting the nine-digit number. I continued nagging, until one day my parents sat me down and explained to me that I was not from America and that this country is not a part of who I am. I was confused because the United States is all I had known since I was six.
Damn… these are the kinds of students who know what kind of changes they’d like to see in society and will work to make them happen.
Great selections all around. Hats off to BSLA for organizing the scholarship drive and the donors who made it happen.