Unicorn Scholarship

Funded by
Peterson Wellford
Learn more about the Donor
1 winner
Application Deadline
Jul 31, 2021
Winners Announced
Sep 15, 2021
Education Level

Self-love and acceptance are critical to a full life, but unfortunately, with many existing forms of homophobia today, it can be extremely difficult for those in the LGBTQ+ community. 

With social media being so accessible today, we are more connected than ever. That doesn’t always mean it’s for the better, though. 

Daily, millions are ridiculed and belittled because of their identity, their beliefs, or how they may express themselves. Seeing that LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth, there must be significant social change to combat the hateful rhetoric against their community and to encourage LGBTQ+ youth to love themselves for who they are. 

To contribute to necessary social reparations, The Unicorn Scholarship exists to support LGBTQ+ students in their journey toward self-love and acceptance. This scholarship is open to all undergraduate students who identify as LGBTQ+.

To apply, please write a short essay about the first time you felt like you truly loved yourself or struggled to love yourself and how you plan to make a difference in the social realm around LGBTQ+ awareness and positivity. 

Selection Criteria:
Essay Topic

Please write a short essay about the first time you felt like you truly loved yourself or struggled to love yourself and how you plan to make a difference in the social realm around LGBTQ+ awareness and positivity. 

100–500 words

Winning Application

Savina DeGuzman
Purdue University GlobalYoungstown, OH
Like most LGBT+ people, I grappled with my identity growing up. I wanted to fit in so I pretended to have crushes on the popular boys and if I liked a girl, I bushed it off as a “girl crush.” All girls have “girl crushes,” right? In high school I began to think of myself as bisexual but that still didn’t quite fit. I couldn’t pinpoint what specifically I liked. I felt broken. Something in me didn’t work the same way as my peers, even the ones who were in the LGBT+ community. On top of that, I am bi-racial and I felt even more ostracized. I am Filipino and Mexican and began to wrestle with anxiety and depression since puberty. I felt isolated. I felt like everyone had a say in who I am except for me. Mexicans would say I am Filipino. Filipinos would say I am Mexican. The LGBT+ community would omit me because I can pass as straight. I felt like my existence was denied. I slowly started to hate myself for being different, for not being enough, for being me. My social isolation and my preexisting mental health issues led me to become suicidal. I was apathetic about life. In Buddhism there is a concept of samsara which means life is suffering. I truly believed this. I didn’t want people to think I was weak but I still wanted to make myself suffer for not being able to fix myself. I began to cut myself in my bikini area where no one would see or ask questions. I learned how to tie a noose. I took out life insurance and wrote a living will. I saved up enough to pay for cremation services, and enough to hire a team to clean out my room and get rid of my things. I wanted to make sure that my death would not burden my family too much. Although I hated myself, I still loved them. As I was saving up, I took a gender studies class in college and I began to learn more about myself. I learned about sexuality and gender constructs. This class was my savior. It was my “Aha” moment. There was a word for what I am; there were lots of words for what I am. This meant that there are others like me. I am demisexual and panromantic. Grey asexuality exists! I instantly felt relief and connected. The hate started to fade; I was able to start healing. I began to love myself little by little with each day. I have come so far and I want to help others too. I want to earn a PsyD and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I aim to open my own practice to improve the quality of life for LGBT+ people with autism spectrum disorder and promote community inclusion. I want to show them that they aren’t broken and give them the tools to navigate the world.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 31, 2021. Winners will be announced on Sep 15, 2021.

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