Meet the amazing recipients of our 2015 Youth Activist Scholarship Awards! These three winners were selected by a committee of educators and community leaders for their strong commitment to protecting and enhancing civil liberties in their schools and communities.
2015 Youth Activist Scholarship Winners
Each winner will receive a $1000 scholarship to be used toward their first year of college and were honored, along with other Utah civil liberties heroes, at the Bill of Rights Celebration on May 15.
The three young activists have taken strong stands for issues that include:
- Fighting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
- Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline and providing support for marginalized students.
- Working to end bullying while organizing safe spaces and events for students of all backgrounds.
Congratulations to these fine youth leaders! We are excited to see what more they accomplish in the future.
Watch a short video featuring this years winners at the bottom of this page.
Taylorsville High School
“I want to be one to help wake the world up, to stand up for those who are forced to be silent under oppression. I want people to be able to open their eyes and think, ‘hey, these people are real people with valid voices, and they need our help.’ "
Jasper has excelled at breaking down barriers as an activist against gender identity discrimination in his school and community. He is an advocate for the rights of all, no matter their ethnicity, religion, class, sexual orientation or gender identity. He has constantly educated others and provided support for LGBTQ students through his school’s Advocates for Equality club and the Utah Pride Centers Youth Leadership Council. Jasper has learned firsthand, how inadequate support for transgender youth can be. He has moved beyond his own struggles and is dedicated to supporting youth while challenging society to change.
West High School
“I am an activist for change and an ally to the voiceless by helping youth find their own powerful voice through education, activism, and connecting them with resources and support. This helps to bring about positive progress.”
Marcelina has spent most Monday evenings working with the Salt Lake Peer Court on cases involving youth facing school discipline issues since 2012. Rather then sending youth into the traditional juvenile justice system, she works with them to provide community support and resources to address their needs. Through this engagement she became aware of the growing School-to-Prison Pipeline problem affecting marginalized students and became an active organizer in educational campaigns and was a key organizer of the recent Youth Leadership and Activism Conference.
DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts
“A passionate drive to fight oppression through nonviolence, demanding equality and tolerance while promoting diversity, is essential to a long lasting protection of minority rights.”
Silas is an openly gay student at his high school. As a freshman he started the first Gay Straight Alliance that morphed into the WE CARE (Within Every Campus All Rights Equal) club focused on preventing bullying while promoting understanding of and support for LGBTQ students. With this mission in mind he organizes the annual Day of Silence event at his school. The prior Regional GSA Director of Utah for the OUTreach Resource Center in Ogden, he now volunteers at the Utah Pride Center helping plan the annual Queer Prom so that students can have a place to feel good and enjoy themselves.