Announcing the recipients of our 2013 scholarshipsPublished Nov 3, 2013
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The New Haven Pride Center is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 David Knapp Scholarship awards. As the scholarship fund continues to build, the Center was once again able to offer two awards, to Kethry Bentz, of Torrington, and Kiera Kingston, of Trumbull.
The undergraduate award was earned by Bentz, who is a freshman at Northwestern Connecticut Community College . She is studying English and wants to teach high school English. During her time at Torrington High School, she was active in social justice activities including the Gay-Straight Alliance she founded and led during her junior and senior years. She was also active in the globally focused Peace Jam and helped to create an award winning documentary on hate speech in Connecticut . Her application lists many other impressive activities during her high school years that helped improve daily life for LGBTQ people in northwestern Connecticut.
"I feel that education is very important in everything we do, whether it be basic academics or teaching tolerance and acceptance, she stated, during an interview at the Center with her mother and David Knapp listening in. "I strive to become a Connecticut certified teach and to teach English. I also aspire to teach English abroad as a foreign language, mostly in underdeveloped countries where education may not be so much of a priority for the communities there."
The graduate award was earned by Kingston, a 2013 graduate of Boston College in biology who is now studying medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She expects to specialize in orthopedic surgery. She said that surgery continues to be a difficult field for women and LGBTQ individuals to enter due to residual stereotypes. "Through my hard work and dedication I hope to break down remaining barriers so that future students can pursue any field that interests them without fear that their career options will be limited because of their sex or sexual orientation," she said.
Kingston added, "I hope most that the LGBT community will one day be seen as equals. I hope that one day LGBT children are no longer bullied at school, that all LGBT adults will have the right to marry, and that the LGBT community will have access to the same opportunities to succeed whether it be in higher education, business, athletics, or any other endeavor."
Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 David Knapp Scholarship awards!
The David Knapp Scholarship Committee includes: Robin McHaelen, MSW, Caesar Storlazzi, Patricia Nicolari, and chaired by Center board member John D. Allen, Ed.D.
The David Knapp Scholarship is named in honor of David Knapp, a longtime friend and supporter of the NHPC. His amazing list of accomplishments include: starting Connecticut chapters of GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays), both of which remain active today; leading his church, the First Congregational Church of Guilford, in its efforts to become an open and affirming organization; past leadership of - and current membership in - Stonewall Speakers Bureau; and remaining at the forefront of the charge to overturn the Boy Scouts of America’s archaic policy on homosexuality. His contributions number so significantly that they are catalogued under the name "David Knapp Papers" at the Yale University Library. It is in the spirit of David Knapp’s selfless devotion to the regional LGBTQI community that the New Haven Pride Center is proud to offer our scholarship in his name.