Pride Foundation, the largest funder of scholarships for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and straight ally students in the nation, will offer a drop-in session to help students craft or revise their scholarship essays on Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at the Western Montana Community Center, on the second floor of 127 N. Higgins. The essay section is an important part of the overall application. “This year, Pride Foundation will give away $380,000 to students across the Northwest, and students from Montana are eligible for most of that money,” explained scholarship director Anthony Papini.

Pride Foundation scholarships fund any type of post-secondary education from an accredited institution – everything from a traditional four-year college to vocational or technical school. In past years, scholars have ranged in age from 18 to 65. What scholars have in common is a commitment to civil rights for the LGBTQ community, explains Montana regional development organizer Caitlin Copple.

The scholarship application can be found online at www.pridefoundation.org and the deadline is January 31 at 4 p.m. MST.

“Pride Foundation exists to support the LGBTQ community, and allied students are also a huge part of that,” Copple said. “We know LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals, and they are more likely to become homeless when they come out. These scholarships send a powerful message that they are cared for by the larger community.”

All funding decisions are made by committees of local volunteers, and Copple is currently recruiting for the scholarship review team who will read the applications and interview up to five student finalists later this spring.

For additional information, contact Caitlin Copple, Montana Regional Development Organizer, at 406.546.7017 or Caitlin@pridefoundation.org. Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation inspires a culture of generosity to connect and strengthen leaders, students and organizations creating LGBTQ equality in the Northwest.