Below are the 2016 Hampton Roads Pride Scholarship Recipients. We are proud of all of our applicants and wish them all the best as they pursue their dreams.
Dorothy Lawless Edwards
The winner of the Dulhaz Mannan Scholarship, Dorothy was born and raised right here in Norfolk, where she raised her four children, Erin, Seth, Andrew and Sara, and where her grandson Wesley is being raised now. She loves serving her community. Dorothy has volunteered more than 5,000 hours in her lifetime, mostly for schools, churches and sports teams. She is currently the vice president of PFLAG, and volunteers at the LGBT Center. She is also very active in her faith community of Christ and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Dorothy graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2014 with a BA in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, with a second major in Religious Studies. She is now a graduate student at Regent University’s School of Divinity, where she is openly gay. Dorothy is a certified spiritual director, and is training to be certified as a chaplain. Along with her Church, she is in the process of exploring ordination to the priesthood. She looks forward to being able to minister however she can to members of the LGBT community who crave the liturgical beauty of their childhood, without anything detracting from that beauty. Dorothy loves to have fun, too. She has been surfing for forty years, and for many years was the top ranked Virginia female for her age group in shortboard and longboard, even scoring a perfect ten for a sweet tube ride in a Hatteras contest at age 44.
The recipient of the Wells Fargo Scholarship, William is 23 years old and studying to be a social worker.
“I was born and raised here in Hampton Roads. I serve as the First Gentlemen at Progressive Christian Fellowship where my life long partner Ronald White is the senior pastor. Church is the special part of my life. Our church is an open and affirming organization. Furthermore, I serve as the Secretary and as the Outreach Coordinator for the ministry. In this capacity, I have spearheaded a number of community service efforts aimed at helping persons who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, or struggling. To help you gain a little perspective regarding my passion requires the knowledge that, around age eight, my family (to include me, my mom, and my two siblings) became homeless. For several months, we would be shifted from shelter to shelter until a local agency stepped in and helped rebuild my family by providing us a safe and stable environment.
“With the memories of my own misfortune, I recently read that in New York most of those who are homeless and who are suffering from similar hardships are members of the LGBTQ community. After seeing those statistics, remembering my own situation, and reading and recalling the narratives of LGBT youth who turn to prostitution and in some cases get abused or end up addicted to drugs, my desire to go to school for Social Work was firmly-grounded. Although my situation was not as a result of me being gay, I know what it means to be gay, isolated, rejected, homeless, and helpless. I have an idea idea of creating a group home that will provide career counseling, food, HIV/STD prevention education, emergency shelter, and whatever else is needed. Although it may be a while before I can truly make this dream a reality, I have currently started fund-raising efforts for my dream by soliciting loose change through my church. I truly believe we will all fall short; nevertheless, we should always strive to be the helping hand and smiling face to someone else. Let’s allow love to unite.”
Andrew is a rising second year medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Originally from New Jersey, he attended Georgetown University, majoring in human science with a minor in psychology. There, he was able to fulfill his dream of studying abroad in London and fulfill his passion for volunteering with such experiences as a medical mission trip to Costa Rica and acting as a peer advisor. Post-graduation, Andrew spent a year working as a mental health counselor at an immediate care psychiatric facility, where he was trained in dialectical behavioral therapy, specialized in mindfulness for the therapy groups there, and was grateful for the opportunity to interact with a multitude of patients in such a meaningful way. At EVMS, his passions are centered around pediatrics and LGBT topics in medical care. He fulfills such passions by volunteering with organizations like Edmarc Hospice for Children and hopes to further volunteer with Hampton Road’s Youth Out United group. As president of EVMS Alliance, he is working with a curriculum committee to integrate LGBT topics into the medical curriculum, as well as assisting to spread the campus SafeZone training further. Andrew is grateful for the opportunities and support the school and local community have given in such endeavors and is excited to continue such initiatives.