“What scares me most is media showing homophobic and transphobic things as normal and okay. Knowing that there are people here who want to help is amazing and validating.”
— Annie Larson, Oak Park, OPALGA+ scholar, Fenwick 2023, attending Georgetown University

“There’s not much space here for people like me to exist. I accept being misgendered if it keeps me safe. I’ll have the ability to expand myself in college.”
— Venus Obazuaye, Forest Park, OPALGA+ scholar, Illinois Math and Science Academy 2023, attending University of Illinois-Chicago

“I am concerned about the dangerous rhetoric that’s been flying as anti-LGBTQ+ laws are passed and perpetuated the unsafe environments that we already have to navigate. Receiving the scholarship lessened my work expectations allowing me to focus more on my studies.”
— Marty Cowherd, Chicago, two-time OPALGA+ scholar, attending University of Chicago Class of 2026

OPALGA+ is committed to supporting local LGBTQIA+ youth and allies with financial support for post-secondary education. Help us support the next generation of community leaders who are working to make our world a safer and fairer place for all.

As we choose the next class of scholars, we look forward to connecting with current high school seniors with a passion for advocacy and a demonstrated commitment to ending social injustice to tell us their story. Since 2014, OPALGA+ has raised and distributed over $170,000 for deserving students. In 2024, we plan to award eight $5,000 scholarships. Your generosity makes these efforts possible. opalga.org/donate

Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association Plus (OPALGA+)

The OPALGA+ Student Scholarship Fund provides financial support for the post-high school education of local students who have demonstrated service and advocacy to the LGBTQIA+ community. Young LGBTQIA+ people face unique challenges in high school and college; students with LGBTQIA+ parents have distinct experiences shaped by their families. The scholarship program depends on the year-round generosity of OPALGA+ members and community support. Since 2014, OPALGA+ has awarded over $170,000 in scholarships and plans to award eight $5,000 awards in 2024.

To learn more or to donate to the scholarship fund, visit opalga.org/donate.

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