For DonorsFor Applicants

Adam Montes Pride Scholarship

Funded by
2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Mar 22, 2025
Winners Announced
Apr 22, 2025
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
LGBTQ+ and an underrepresented minority
First-generation college student
Education Level:
High school senior, Undergraduate, or Graduate

Adam Montes passed away in November of 2022 due to a severe illness that ended his life far too early. 

Adam was an LGBTQ+ educator and an incredibly active member of his community. Education was one of Adam’s greatest passions and he took pride in supporting his students and encouraging them to be the best people they could be.

This scholarship aims to honor the life of Adam Montes by supporting underrepresented students on the road to higher education.

Any LGBTQ+ high school student who is an underrepresented minority and will be a first-generation college student may apply for this scholarship, but those interested in pursuing education degrees are preferred. 

To apply, tell us something that is unique about you and why you think you should receive a scholarship.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published May 20, 2024
Essay Topic

Please tell us something unique about yourself and why you feel you should be a recipient of a scholarship. This can include your motivations for seeking higher education, your identity, how you interact with your family, your proudest accomplishments, the impact you have in your community or at school, and/or your personal and professional goals. What distinguishes you from other applicants?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Kendall Nelson
San Pedro Senior HighSAN PEDRO, CA
My father's parents came to the United States from Latin America: his mother moved at the age of sixteen from Mexico and his father at the age of nine from Costa Rica; They moved with absolutely nothing, surviving primarily off of welfare and food stamps for a decent portion of their time in the States. These struggling times are especially reflected in my father, who was mistreated greatly and unfortunately was not strong enough to break the chains of generational trauma in our family; sadly, I have also faced the brunt of generational trauma due to my dad's mistreatment, further motivating me to strive for a better life and aim for a higher education in order to break the chain and create a safer environment for my younger relatives. I also grew up in a heavily gentrified area, making it difficult for even my middle class family to stay afloat. My area is also incredibly diverse, allowing me to be exposed to countless experiences, ideas, cultures, and problems within communities from marginalized peers, especially my Hispanic peers. I want to attend college to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration; however, my primary goal is to enter the marketing field as a Media Buyer/Planner. I would primarily like to pay for college myself, as my parents currently do not have the money to help fund me. However, through my college research and endeavors, I have found that the road to payment for college is similar to a hotel: littered with traps of extra fees for every little thing. Even the cheapest universities in this nation are riddled with mandatory fees which should not even exist. I personally do not have enough money for my brave venture, but I do have enough drive for the task. The reason why I want to enter the business world is so I can aid in closing the gap in the business field, as well as bringing forth new ideas stemming from disadvantaged communities. I am a woman, lesbian, Hispanic, and non-binary – you don’t see many people like me, if any, in high-ranking positions in any industry, and even less so in the business world with its hyper-masculinity. Gaining a Bachelor’s Degree will help me get a step closer to breaking the odds and leveling the playing field in the business world, as well as possibly inspiring many people just like me to enter said world; I would love to be a role model for such underrepresented demographics, as I needed a role model like me growing up dealing with the trials of being “different.” Through many thoughtful discussions with my non-white Hispanic peers, however, I have learned that though my struggles with my identity are valid, I still have advantages due to my pale complexion; I've learned that my non-white peers essentially need to be conscious at all times of much more seemingly "insignificant" matters, matters I never even considered issues until they were brought to my attention. Through these insightful discussions, my non-white companions have taught me true empathy, and have shown me that I can use my societal advantages to give voice to their ideas for them, hence why I want to go into the business world and make the environment even just a little bit better in honor of them. Marginalized voices are just as, if not more important in our modern day; their voices deserve to be heard, and I would like to be their honorary speaker. I will do everything in my power to create a better future for others no matter what.
Lynndee Baker
Adairsville High SchoolFairmount, GA
Art has always been a passion of mine. Before I could even walk, I had a pencil clutched in my fingers and any surface within reach was to become my work of Art. Walls, doors, toys, though my favorite was the interior of my mother’s car. As irritating as that must have been, she supported my creativity. This early passion for art has led me to my dream of becoming an art teacher, where I can inspire and nurture creativity in our youth. Being a transgender male, I’ve faced my fair share of obstacles and challenges in my short life. Hardships are inevitable and no matter who you are everyone will face obstacles in life. How you overcome these challenges is what matters the most. I’ve been lucky enough to have some much acceptance, love, and support not only from my family but also from my teachers. Starting my freshman year of high school, I found myself in a dark place. Figuring out who I was and being open about it brought feelings of rejection, pain, and fear I never knew existed. Lost and alone during school hours, I let my grades slip and forgot my worth. Through all the darkness shined a light. My high school art teacher. This teacher never gave up on me, even though I’d given up on myself. My courage and confidence were nonexistent and so I never allowed my art to be showcased. Not accepting my cowardice, my teacher submitted a piece of my art to a museum contest. I didn’t win; however, I was published into the museum’s yearly book of art. Ready to face the inevitable rejection, I was astonished to find myself showered with praise and kind words. By not giving up on me, my teacher had me questioning myself. If a total stranger had this much confidence in me, I should have confidence as well, right? Realizing courage was a friend not a foe, I dared to face any obstacle in my path. I would not allow myself to drop into darkness. As time passed, my passion for art continued to blossom. I joined the art club and as a member, I taught people in our community art and its vast forms and techniques. I found that teaching and bringing out creativity in others occurred naturally for me. The feeling of bliss I get seeing someone's face brighten at their completed piece, and knowing I was a tiny part of their delight, is a joy I wish to continue. I want to be an inspiration for our youth. A flicker of light for someone who finds themselves in darkness, just as my art teacher was to me. Transforming this dream into a reality requires a higher education, making college the most important step I take in life. Financially, I can’t afford to go. I’ll be a first-generation college student coming from a single-parent low-income household. This scholarship would take away some of the financial burden I face and solidify my dreams of the future. Being able to wake up every day, doing something I have such a passion for, while helping inspire others to be the best version of themselves, is my biggest dream. Going to college is where the first step in my journey to art teaching begins, and the only path to make my dream a reality. This scholarship could very well be what will pave the way for my success.
Anson Nguyen
Brown UniversitySarasota, FL
"Menial" My nostrils have been ransacked by the pungent smell of nail polish remover since the age of five. My parents and I immigrated to the United States a week following my second birthday. Leaving everything behind, they sought their American Dream and landed on “Angel Nails.” The grand opening of “Angel Nails” marked a new chapter of my childhood. Courtesy of the “employees-only” backroom, I had my family’s version of “bring-your-kid-to-work day” every day. You’d typically find me snoopily roaming between rows of pedicure chairs, chatting up clients, awaiting my mom’s voice to cut my scheming short: “Anson, time to go!” A client would soon likely be startled by an eager second-grader, Power Rangers rolling backpack in-hand, dashing out the door; I’d unintentionally mess up many drying mani-pedis stumbling out of “Angel Nails.” In sixth grade, “menial” was one of our vocab words, “not requiring much skill; lacking prestige.” My classmate, a past visitor of “Angel Nails,” asked, “Aren’t nail techs kinda menial, Anson?” I pieced together a shrug, but as the day went on, the word “menial” continued to echo in my head, reverberating the whispers of humiliation I had previously tried to suppress. This comment had struck a deeper, familiar nerve: on career day, as my friends’ parents presented their lab coats and doctorate-level educations, I questioned if my working-class upbringing was inferior. Hearing my parents’ American Dream described as “menial” solidified a perceived “Devil Nails,” tainted with shame and embarrassment. What I’d failed to grasp was that within those pedicure chairs laid hidden inspiration and passionate hearts— far beyond what met the eye. On either side of me, as I strolled through the halls of “Angel Nails,” were my parents and the rest of our technicians, all first-generation Vietnamese immigrants without college degrees, impassioned with a legacy of perseverance tracing back to post-Vietnam War chain migration, working diligently to perfect their craft. Watching my mom make free mani-pedi house visits for a client undergoing chemotherapy treatments, I realized there was nothing about “Angel Nails” to be ashamed of; my parents and the rest of our technicians were undeniable role models and didn’t need Ph.Ds to show their worth. As I began embracing my upbringing at “Angel Nails,” stories from our “employees-only” backroom enriched my after-school days: each one of our technicians fought for their place — against the odds — overcoming educational, linguistic and cultural isolation, abject poverty, and xenophobic immigration policy. Their stories ignited newfound passion in my mission of social justice; the possibility of alleviating these same barriers for future immigrants inspired me beyond the vague framework of “helping people” I had haphazardly adopted — sparking tangible goals of reform in social mobility, immigration policy, education, and accessibility to fight for. Today, I advocate for change by shining a light on stories formerly written off as “menial.” Whether I’m calming peers down during pregnancy scares or spreading LGBTQ+ allyship praxis to sex educators across the country, I strive to center empathy and open-mindedness as a catalyst for progressive political change. I like to think that through this work, I’m writing the next chapter of Angel Nail’s story. I now know that my nail salon upbringing doesn’t make me “less than,” but rather empowers me with a unique perspective I can lean on as I work to create change. Ironically, I now find comfort in the same smell of nail polish remover that irked me years ago: a sense of familiarity…of home.
aida Niang
University of ArizonaMadison, WI
Growing up as a trans man in a Muslim household, I have faced countless challenges that have shaped me into the person I am today. One of the most significant challenges I have faced is the constant fear of rejection and abandonment from my family due to their beliefs about the LGBTQ community. As a result, I have learned to hide who I am from my family and the world, which has caused me to suffer from severe depression and anxiety. However, despite the constant fear and struggle, I am determined to use my experiences to make a positive impact on the world and the lives of others. Being a recipient of this scholarship would mean the world to me because it would not only help me achieve my educational and career goals but also allow me to give back to the community in ways that are meaningful and impactful. I am motivated to pursue higher education because it will not only provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in my chosen field, but also give me a platform to advocate for marginalized communities, particularly the LGBTQ community. I am determined to use my personal experiences to break down barriers and promote acceptance and understanding for those who may be struggling with their own identity or facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite the challenges I have faced, I am proud of my accomplishments and the person I have become. My ability to overcome adversity and remain true to myself is a testament to my resilience and determination. My personal and professional goals revolve around using my education and experiences to make a positive impact on society, particularly within the field of mental health. I am passionate about promoting mental health awareness and advocating for accessible and inclusive mental health care for all. I believe that my unique experiences as a trans man growing up in a Muslim household give me a unique perspective and voice that can contribute to the larger conversation on social justice and equality. Through this scholarship, I hope to further my education and use my experiences to create a positive impact on the world. I believe that my determination, resilience, and passion for advocacy set me apart from other applicants and make me a deserving recipient of this scholarship. In conclusion, I am a proud and determined trans man who is committed to using my experiences to make a positive impact on society. Despite the challenges I have faced, I am driven to succeed and make a difference in the world, and I believe that this scholarship would help me achieve my goals and give me the opportunity to give back to the community in meaningful and impactful ways.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 22, 2025. Winners will be announced on Apr 22, 2025.