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Star Farm Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students

6 winners, $2,500 each
In Review
Application Deadline
Jun 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 30, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
New York
Education Level:
High school senior (2024) and undergraduate students

Students who receive support and kindness from their communities have a better chance of being successful and having a good college experience.

To ensure that LGBTQ+ students get the kind of support they need, the LGBTQ+ College Scholarship will help New York high school seniors who identify as LGBTQ+. Through this scholarship, students will get a boost to propel them forward in their educational journey.

New York high school seniors of the 2023 graduating class are eligible to apply if they identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. To apply, write about your experience in the LGBTQ+ community, your plans for giving back, what you are looking to study in school, and why a scholarship is important to you financially.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Impact, Boldest Profile
Published February 15, 2024
Essay Topic

Tell us about your experience in the LGTBTQ+ community. Do you see yourself as some who has or will give back to the community?

Additionally, please tell us what you plan on or are currently studying in school and why receiving a scholarship is important to you financially.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Sophia Gonzalez
Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken, NJ
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this scholarship will help me pursue my educational goal of becoming a biomedical engineer. Engineering as a male-dominated field has some downsides to it. For example, the Harvard Business Review conducted a survey that resulted in the finding that 40% of female engineering students do not finish their degree because of the "masculine culture" of engineering itself. (Silbey, 2016). As a gay woman, I feel that these experiences of being treated differently would pertain to me especially. I would love to be able to one day give back to the community that has accepted me with such open arms. When I went to my first pride parade, I was 16 years old. I went with my best friend, who is also gay, and who ultimately convinced me to go to this event. I was absolutely terrified. I had come out not a month ago, and here I was at this enormous festival celebrating what I am, but was too scared to admit to being a mere four weeks ago. We stopped at a tent on the corner of the street run by a few older women whom all had rainbow ribbons feathers in their hair and clothes. Perhaps I looked nervous, because the leader of the tent took me from my friend for a moment, and asked me why I was there. I responded that I was there for my friend because he had asked me to accompany him. She turned me around to reveal my orange, white, and pink pride flag sewn into the back of my jean jacket and took my hands in hers. She told me, "It does not matter who you love, it does not matter who hates you for it, and it does not matter what anyone else has to say about it. You are welcome here. Do not feel ashamed to be something that you did not choose. Have pride.". Her words ring in my head often. Being able to get through college would be an amazing achievement because I would be studying exactly what I love and doing it for the community that loved me without hesitation. In the future, I plan to work to improve the mechanics and processes of gender-affirming surgery. I want to work with teens and young adults to truly expand the research being done on these types of surgeries, and discover how we can make it safer and better. Transgender people deserve to feel seen and understood, and that should reflect in the quality of affirming surgery they receive. I truly believe this to be my ultimate goal in life, and even if my efforts make one person's surgery slightly less painful, the results slightly more euphoric, or the recovery slightly less time, I will have considered my ultimate goal complete. I cannot thank you enough for your consideration. I truly am grateful that there are people in this world that are so generous as to set aside funds for people who identify as LGBTQ+ to study. I cannot wait to be able to help my community and to see the smiles that I indirectly helped create. References: Silbey, S. (2016). Why Do So Many Women Who Study Engineering Leave the Field?. Harvard Business Law. Retrieved April 29, 2023, from
Bryn Dewey
SUNY Polytechnic InstituteNorth Tonawanda, NY
My aspirations to become a physician, coupled with my desire to address the medical needs of LGBTQ+ community and surgical needs of trans people, have been the driving force behind my ongoing pursuit of academic excellence. My work in this regard has proven successful as I recently learned of earning Valedictorian status of my senior class; a feat that entailed significant effort and diligence to achieve. My commitment to these academic endeavors has been unwavering with the purposeful intent of preparing me for the rigors of the extremely competitive BS/MD dual degree program I will begin in Fall 2023. My interest in becoming a physician was sparked by many circumstances that occurred during my upbringing, and later fueled by the events that unfolded after socially coming out as a transgender male in the 8th grade. My proclamation at a young age was followed by an oftentimes painstaking journey that ultimately led me, years later, to gender affirming surgery; an event that cast light on the paucity of available resources in my area. That artistic surgery led to an epiphany; I could meld my passion for art and serving the LGBTQ+ community, with my interest in medicine into a career in reconstructive surgery for those with gender dysphoria. While I have endured a multitude of the struggles experienced by many members of the trans community, I am a firm believer that my successful perseverance of these obstacles, both in the past and those likely to occur in my future, will prove integral in helping me become a successful surgeon who is steadfast in promoting social justice, and dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to the personal experiences that initiated my journey towards working in the field of reconstructive/gender affirming surgery, my passion and inspiration for these endeavors come from my research on the work by Stanley H. Biber - A pioneer in sex reassignment surgery who helped modernize transgender healthcare. Biber recognized the importance of assessing a patient's goodness of fit for transitioning and revolutionized many of the techniques utilized to determine a patient's readiness and preparedness for the impending change. In essence, he was one of the first medical scientists to consider the mind-body interplay and the bidirectional nature of influence between one’s emotional and physical well-being with positive treatment outcomes. Although Dr. Biber was integral in taking the first steps towards addressing the totality of needs presented by trans individuals, transgender people continue to be routinely antagonized and ostracized for attempts to align their physical appearance with their gender identity. It is my goal to continue Dr. Biber’s crusade and mitigate the dysphoria of trans people, not only through advocacy, but by spearheading innovative practices to modernize and transform this field of medicine. It is at this time that I take pause and reflect with gratitude to be at this place in my life - at the precipice of taking the first steps towards a future I have consciously and purposefully planned out, and one that I witness in sincere reverence as it begins to unfold. Facing the distant future and looking beyond the 12+ year academic and training path ahead of me (i.e., 4 years for bachelor's, 4 years for medical school, and multiple years for residency and fellowship), my future sights involve my ultimate ambition of utilizing my medical degree in a manner that benefits the trans and LGBTQ+ community. Overall, I am extremely excited at the prospect of a career in medicine, and look forward to the prospect of dedicating my services to the WNY’s trans community in this capacity.
Mehak Wadhwa
Fordham UniversityQueens, NY
As a young Indian bisexual woman, I have always felt a deep connection to the struggles of marginalized communities. Growing up in New York City, I witnessed the pain and fear of those who were not able to speak their truth about their gender identities. The constant pressure to conform to societal norms and expectations often left many feeling alone and repressed. It was during my high school years that I had an acquaintance who was terrified of outing herself as a lesbian. She was worried about the repercussions she might face, such as being outed to her family and the possibility of being ostracized from her community. It was then that I realized the dire need for a safe space where she and others like her could freely express themselves without fear of discrimination or harm. I took it upon myself to organize our school's Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club, which aimed to provide a platform for LGBTQ+ students to discuss their experiences and seek support from their peers. Our club meetings were always filled with emotional discussions, thought-provoking debates, and a sense of belonging that was sorely lacking in our school community. It was incredibly heartening to witness the impact our club had on our school community. Students who were previously hesitant to speak out began to find their voices and share their stories, and for the first time, many felt seen and heard. Through our GSA club, I had the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of many young people and empower them to be their authentic selves. As I move on to my college years, I am excited to continue my journey of advocacy and community-building. One of the organizations that caught my eye at Fordham University is their PRIDE Alliance, which aims to create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students on campus. Joining this group would allow me to continue developing a safe space for everyone to share their stories and to empower others to embrace their true selves. In today's society, where hate and discrimination continue to rear their ugly heads, it is more important than ever to advocate for marginalized communities. Through my experiences with the GSA club, I have seen firsthand how powerful it can be to create a space where individuals can be their true selves without fear of judgement. I am passionate about promoting social justice and creating a more inclusive society for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or background. As a young Indian bisexual woman, I know that I have a unique perspective to offer in the fight for equality and acceptance. I want to use my voice and my experiences to make a positive impact on the world, and I believe that joining the PRIDE Alliance at Fordham is the perfect way to do just that. I am excited to continue my journey of advocacy, and I hope to inspire others to do the same.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 30, 2024.

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