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Sullivan Bono

1585

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy and I would love nothing more than to pursue social work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own (It was an arduous 2-year process) and have great financial struggles as a result. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I have found that I am skilled at critical and reflective thinking, and I am also proficient with research and communicating articulately. I believe my life path has provided me with the skills and background needed to help better the lives of LGBTQ+ and/or disabled people who want nothing more than to get a better life. I feel nothing else is suited to me. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning and my 4.0 GPA to hold its merit. Even if I can’t change the world, I deeply desire to help others and contribute to positive change in any way I can. I would like nothing more than to educate people and contribute to a world where people make a habit of considering the feelings of everyone around them, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding,

Education

NHTI-Concord's Community College

Associate's degree program
2021 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
    • Psychology, Other
    • Social Work
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      social work

    • Dream career goals:

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        NHTI Stage Lynx — NHTI Stage Lynx Secretary
        2021 – 2024
      • Volunteering

        NHTI Hall Council — NHTI Hall Council Member
        2023 – 2024
      • Advocacy

        NHTI Recruitment Retention and Completion Committee — NHTI Student Voice Representative
        2023 – 2024
      • Advocacy

        NHTI Student Voice Representative — NHTI Student Voice Representative
        2024 – 2024
      • Advocacy

        Dystonia Medical Research Foundation — Dystonia advocate
        2016 – 2018
      Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
      Hello there! My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who has had to fight very hard through most of my life because I was forced to escape from an abusive family. I faced all sorts of cruelty (medical and general neglect, emotional, mental, and physical abuse, etc), I was largely resented, and I was treated as a huge burden on my parent's shoulders. As well as this, every family member of mine suffered from some kind of money-draining addiction, trying to numb themselves or distract themselves from their life responsibilities. This caused them to struggle financially, and also myself by extension. As a teen, I was alone for days on end, in homes with little to no groceries, no power, and the water shut off. I survived by using my high school showers, washing machines, and food pantries with instructor's permission. I moved many times from 13 -16, even transferring school districts, My life was extremely unstable. I was under so much stress I was diagnosed with tics, panic attacks, a severe anxiety disorder, depression, and C-PTSD when I was 15 -18. The gaslighting and verbal abuse/manipulation only continued to escalate as I tried to speak out to others about my situation. Parental threats about the "consequences" of "opening my mouth" made me aware that my life was in danger, and instilled in me the fear that by accidentally triggering their next uncontrollable fit of emotion, it could mean the end of me, It was clear to me that no one related to me would ever prioritize my safety or stability.I knew I had to take action and make a very hard choice. I realized that If I didn’t escape my situation, my life would not improve whatsoever. So, in the end, I steeled myself to decide. “I will just do it by all myself”. So from 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself from my family slowly and subtly and took steps towards my complete independence. I started little. Sneaking out of the house to make my own bank account and getting odd minimum-wage jobs I could manage while doing online college. I worked whenever no one would notice. I gathered legal documents, filled out FASFA forms, and convinced my parents to let me work an out-of-state Summer Camp job. I registered for NHTI College and sent emails to staff members secretly during my breaks, even sacrificing my lunches. Even when I was accepted, my struggles weren't over. Due to my situation, I have no familial support for money. I have always struggled financially, and yet I extended myself to faithfully communicate to staff, who in return, have helped me manage my payments. And I have, in return, always faithfully made payments whenever I could sacrifice, even if it came out of my measly social security income. I almost couldn't cover my expenses for my spring semester, and only with the support of others and my burning determination, was I able to problem-solve and cover everything. Due to my life situation, I have not only developed skills such as accessing and navigating community and state resources, court systems, and advocating for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, but I also found great motivation to pursue employment as a social worker. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I assert that there is a distinct cultural and sociological relationship for those who are part of disadvantaged and/or discriminated against group(s), that they face the most oppressive and/or poor quality life experiences and are at an extremely high risk of encountering some form of abuse and/or violence in their lifetimes. Discrimination against and/or infantilization of the victim is often highly relevant to the abuse they experience. An intersectional approach, I believe, is best suited to fully recognizing how each and every aspect of a person's diversity (race, gender identity, sexuality, level of ability and/or disability, economic status, etc.) needs to be taken into consideration when assisting a member of a diverse-group through medical and mental health care. I advocate that the most appropriate method to help others is through context-specific responses which consider that multiple categories of oppression co-exist within an individual's life to construct unique experiences of violence and abuse, and responses should be catered to an individual in a way that is respectful and accessible to a person, keeping their diverse needs in mind in a way that considers and validates their autonomy and goals towards personal growth. My goal is to let those who have a poor quality of life due to having abusive experiences or having an unsupportive family know that getting out, finding safety and stability, and having their mental health needs met can be achievable. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all and allows diversity to be acknowledged with kindness, respect, and understanding. I want to teach people how to accommodate themselves to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical, mental health, and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. If I could help communities have easier access to resources that allow individuals of all diverse groups to have their needs met, that would be my ultimate goal. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Gender Expansive & Transgender Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. I was shamed by my family for not only my medical needs but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable, especially by my deeply religious mother. Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to cook meals, clean, do laundry, access food banks, and emotionally regulate under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. These steps included working jobs, sending emails to and taking calls with any organizations that could help me in secret, filling out my FAFSA, and applying to and registering myself for college all on my own behind closed doors. As a result of my life situation, I have had no financial support and have a very small and limited income through SSI. This has caused me to struggle extremely with paying for my 2-year college and using my dorm to prevent homelessness. My struggles have given me great anxiety about my life stability, but I continue to fight and look for solutions. I almost couldn't cover my dues spring semester, my last semester, but I was persistent and made it happen. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. I graduated with an associate's degree in General Studies, and was awarded not only the highest honors possible, but I am a PTK member who was given an award for a 3.9 GPA. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that takes you in, tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all. I want to teach people how to accommodate themselves to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Cat Zingano Overcoming Loss Scholarship
      The definition of “losing a family member” in this context usually means death, but I encourage you to hold a flexible mindset with me here. “The family myth” refers to the presumption that “Every family member protects one another, cares for one another’s safety, is compatible with one another, respects one another, and holds a love for another that is consistent and unconditional. The truth is that this does not reflect reality for everyone. I had to make a very painful realization at a very young age, that neither of my parents would ever be able to acknowledge their toxicity, nor were they able to make choices that demonstrated their ability to function as reliable, safe, or stable figures in my life. Leaving an abusive family and being on your own at a very young age holds its own terror. People assume that it’s a deliberate choice, the responsibility being only on those who leave, a flimsy decision caused by common disagreements, and differences in values within the family, and that the members left behind can be reconciled with. In my case, that couldn't be farther from the truth. I assert that estrangement grief is a loss that's as heavy as death. You grieve the loving and healthy relationship with your parents that, as much as you tried to make it happen, it really could never be, because neither of your parents were ever capable of it in the first place. For me, “leaving” meant the difference between being trapped with dangerous people, terrified that every day I woke up in that house might be my last, and having the ability to say that the joy, love, and safety I spent years longing for is relatively within my grasp. Sometimes “leaving” and going no contact, is actually fleeing, creating an opportunity to survive that you eventually will lose if you stay. But it's also pure terror. You have to build your own life up from dirt and ashes. Stability and getting through the next day - none of that is assured until you’ve figured something out. But it’s better than a cold and dark house with splintered cabinets that reeks of trash and alcohol, locking yourself in a room, and fearing the next day you might need to use the remaining half a bottle of concealer to go to school and prevent a teacher from having a heart attack. Fleeing that situation is an effort to protect yourself and ensure that you can finally psychologically heal. You afford yourself opportunities to carve out a better future that you wouldn't have had prior (like getting a restraining order). And by fleeing, you carry the hope that one day you can wake up content with your life here on this Earth. If you work hard enough, you find a place to stay. You find a bed to sleep in, food to eat, and a shower to clean yourself off in. And sometimes, that same place is where you get your education. In my case, a 2-year college was the answer. And I worked so hard to get through it. I convinced my parents to let me work some jobs before I fled, and I sent emails and held calls with staff during my lunch breaks and late at night to register. I filled out the FAFSA all by myself, and financial aid helped it happen. Even then, my life stability always hung in the balance, and finances were always a struggle. There were times when I had to sacrifice most of my measly SSI, as my disabilities completely interfered with traditional job offers. And yet the college staff knew me, I was always communicating and trying to find solutions to pay off my expenses, and so they worked with me. This past spring semester, my last semester, I almost lost everything. I had an outstanding balance that was outside my means. Only with the generous hearts of those who donated to my gofundme was I able to pay it off. At this point, I had graduated as of May 17th, being given an associate’s in general studies with the highest honors possible, with a 3.9 GPA, and being a member of PTK on my record. Financing my education will always be a source of unyielding stress and uncertainty. I want nothing more than to be a social worker and advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community, as those populations often do not come from the best family environments. At this point, the only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through attending and being able to pay for Landmark College (A four-year) this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any financial assistance would be appreciated and life-changing. Thank you!
      Candi L. Oree Leadership Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. College payments have been a great source of stress. Out of the few I have, the disability that helped shape my career goals and brought about my passion for helping other disabled people is my dystonia. I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. My tremors and my pain were constant, and I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. High school does not carry good memories for this reason. I know that people tend to make quick (and often incorrect) assumptions about individuals based on first impressions and stereotypes, which can create prejudice and/or animosity as a first reponse. Knowing what it is like to be judged, I would like nothing more than to educate people and make a difference so that people consider the feelings of everyone, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding, Helping people to make a habit of throwing their assumptions about others away and make room to get to know them FIRST, I believe, is a great first step. My great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate started from moments like this. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I feel the skills I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My big and general goal would be to make enough of a difference that people will instinctively consider the feelings of others, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding. My more narrow goals are: I want to help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disbaled people.I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, healing, and finding others who take you in and support you and tell you "You are worth it", like a family should, is POSSIBLE. Communal love and/or found family and self-affirmation, I want to offer these realistic and attainable pieces of life to anyone who is desperately lacking them. These are necessary parts of stability, and those who do not have them should know that they do deserve them. I deeply desire to make these goals a reality and to make positive changes in this world in any way I can. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through attending and being able to pay for Landmark College (A four year) this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Priscilla Shireen Luke Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. Having much lived experience as a victim of psychological abuse and domestic violence, my experiences have provided me insight into the larger picture of gaps within government and state protective and mental health policies and services, as well as the inadequate practices and insufficient communication methods within and between these services and institutions. I give back in many ways. I have helped many peers who have needed assistance with the above. In addition, I was part of a student-led movement that addressed and dismantled my college's plan to implement unjust academic requirements that would have severely impacted the mental health and academic performances of students from many groups, including those who work full-time jobs, those from racially diverse backgrounds, those that are low income, those with disabilities, etc. I also have reached out to multiple college personnel and notified them that the textbooks being used to educate students about psychology and disability were outdated, and therefore contained information that was inaccurate, lacked updated and accurate information, and contained perspectives and language that was stigmatizing and at times dehumanizing towards the groups being described. I pushed constantly to make progress with this while being enrolled in classes, but the support I received from the school was not adequate enough to make important changes within the college considering my remaining time there. In terms of my long-term goals, the best way to explain them is through my social work outlook: I assert that there is a distinct cultural and sociological relationship that must be addressed for those who are part of disadvantaged and discriminated against and/or widely stigmatized groups facing oppressive and/or poor quality life experiences and being at high risk of encountering some form of abuse and/or violence in their lifetimes. Discrimination against and/or infantilization of the victim is often a factor that is highly relevant to the abuse they experience. An intersectional approach, I believe, is best suited to fully recognizing how each and every aspect of a person's diversity (race, gender identity, sexuality, level of ability and/or disability, economic status, etc.) needs to be taken into consideration when an individual of a diverse group expresses some oppression-related distress that influences and/or adds to their mental health struggles and/or life struggles. I advocate that the most appropriate method to help others is through context-specific responses which keep in mind that multiple categories of oppression co-exist within an individual's life to construct unique experiences of poverty, life insecurity, violence and abuse, and responses should be catered to an individual in a way that is respectful and accessible to a person, keeping their diverse needs in mind in a way that considers and validates their autonomy and goals towards personal growth. My basic goal is to let those who have a poor quality of life due to having abusive experiences or having an unsupportive family know that getting out, finding safety and stability, and having their mental health needs met can be achievable. If I could help communities have easier access to resources that allow individuals of all diverse groups to have their needs met, that would be my ultimate goal. I deeply desire to help others and contribute to this becoming a reality in any way I can. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Lieba’s Legacy Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. College payments have been a great source of stress. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. Out of the few I have, the disability that helped shape my career goals and brought about my passion for helping other disabled people is my dystonia. I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. My tremors and my pain were constant, and I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. High school does not carry good memories for this reason. I know that people tend to make quick (and often incorrect) assumptions about individuals based on first impressions and stereotypes, which can create prejudice and/or animosity as a first reponse. Knowing what it is like to be judged, I would like nothing more than to educate people and make a difference so that people consider the feelings of everyone, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding, Helping people to make a habit of throwing their assumptions about others away and make room to get to know them FIRST, I believe, is a great first step. My great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate started from moments like this. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I feel the skills I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My big and general goal would be to receive opportunities to educate people about the value of diversity, and maybe one day make enough of a difference that people will instinctively consider the feelings of others, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding. My more narrow goals are: I want to help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disbaled people.I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. Alternatively, I understand that some people won't change or be a safe space no matter what I teach them. There will always be unsafe people in the world. and for that, I would like to be a resource for those who are in and/or come from abusive and/or unsupportive family situations. I want to reach them and help them get out and achieve stability. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, healing, and finding others who take you in and support you and tell you "You are worth it", like a family should, is POSSIBLE. Communal love and/or found family and self-affirmation, I want to offer these realistic and attainable pieces of life to anyone who is desperately lacking them. These are necessary parts of stability, and those who do not have them should know that they do deserve them. I deeply desire to make these goals a reality and to make positive changes in this world in any way I can. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through attending and being able to pay for Landmark College (A four year) this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Rainbow Futures Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. I was shamed for not only my medical needs but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable. Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to cook meals, clean, do laundry, access food banks, and emotionally regulate under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. These steps included working jobs, sending emails to and taking calls with any organizations that could help me in secret, filling out my FAFSA, and applying to and registering myself for college all on my own behind closed doors. As a result of my life situation, I have had no financial support and have a very small and limited income through SSI. This has caused me to struggle extremely with paying for college, and caused me great anxiety about my stability. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. Of note is my development of many valuable skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, and how to handle adult responsibilities such as effective communication, organization, and time management. I have also been told I am very proficient in research and communicating articulately. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I know that the skills I have prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that takes you in, tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all. I want to teach people how to accommodate themselves to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Eleanor Anderson-Miles Foundation Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to keep up with the necessities of living such as cooking meals, deep cleaning the house and my room, doing laundry, accessing food banks, and emotionally regulating under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. I started little. Sneaking out of the house to make my own bank account and getting odd minimum-wage jobs I could manage while doing online college. I worked whenever no one would notice and sacrificed my free time and sleep to maintain this secret. I gathered legal documents, filled out FASFA forms, and convinced my parents to let me work an out-of-state Summer Camp job. I registered for NHTI College and sent emails to staff members secretly during my lunches and 15-minute breaks. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. I graduated this May from NHTI with the highest honors possible, a near-perfect GPA, an academic achievement award, and I'm a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, and how to handle adult responsibilities such as effective communication, organization, and time management. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I want people who are stuck in an abusive situation to know that getting out is possible. Most importantly, I would love to make enough of a difference in this world that people can actively acknowledge the diversities of others from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning, and I deeply desire to help others and contribute to positive change in any way I can. But at the moment, my life situation and my poverty are huge barriers to achieving this. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through attending and being able to pay for Landmark College (A four year) this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated and life-changing. Thank you!
      Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I myself have much-lived experience as a victim of psychological abuse and domestic violence, and this has given me insight into the larger picture of gaps within policies and services, as well as insufficient and inadequate practices and communication within and between services and institutions. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, and learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner. I have offered help to many peers who have needed assistance with the above, in addition to being part of a student-led movement that addressed and rectified my college's plan to implement unjust academic requirements that would have severely impacted the mental health and academic performances of students from many groups, including those who work full-time jobs, those from racially diverse backgrounds, those that are low income, those with disabilities, etc. I assert that there is a distinct cultural and sociological relationship that must be addressed for those who are part of disadvantaged and discriminated against and/or widely stigmatized groups facing oppressive and/or poor quality life experiences and being at high risk of encountering some form of abuse and/or violence in their lifetimes. Discrimination against and/or infantilization of the victim is often a factor that is highly relevant to the abuse experienced. An intersectional approach, I believe, is best suited to fully recognizing how each and every aspect of a person's diversity (race, gender identity, sexuality, level of ability and/or disability, economic status, etc.) needs to be taken into consideration when an individual of a diverse group expresses some oppression-related distress that effects their mental health. I advocate that the most appropriate method to help others is through context-specific responses which keep in mind that multiple categories of oppression co-exist within an individual's life to construct unique experiences of violence and abuse, and responses should be catered to an individual in a way that is respectful and accessible to a person, keeping their diverse needs in mind in a way that considers and validates their autonomy and goals towards personal growth. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments and often have mental health needs that would respond most positively to the approach listed above. My goal is to let those who have a poor quality of life due to having abusive experiences or having an unsupportive family know that getting out, finding safety and stability, and having their mental health needs met can be achievable. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all. I want to teach people how to accommodate themselves to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical, mental health, and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. If I could help communities have easier access to resources that allow would individuals of all diverse groups to have their unique needs met, that would be my ultimate goal. I deeply desire to help others and contribute to this becoming a reality in any way I can.
      Mental Health Empowerment Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. Mental health has been important to me as I have many mental health conditions myself, and I have experienced personally system-related injustices and have witnessed the unsuitable and sometimes even horrid and inhumane conditions and treatment given to those who are placed in corrupt-leaning mental health institutions. I myself have much-lived experience as a victim of psychological abuse and domestic violence that has given me insight into the larger picture of gaps within policies and services, as well as insufficient and inadequate 1) practices, 2) communication between practices/departments, and 3) communication between patient and clinician and/or between a team of clinicians/providers managing a patient. There is a distinct cultural and sociological relationship that must be addressed for those who are part of disadvantaged and discriminated against and/or widely stigmatized groups facing oppressive and/or poor quality life experiences and being at high risk of encountering some form of abuse and/or violence in their lifetimes. Discrimination against and/or infantilization of the victim is often a factor that is highly relevant to the abuse experienced. An intersectional approach, I believe, is best suited to fully recognizing how each and every aspect of a person's diversity (race, gender identity, sexuality, level of ability and/or disability, economic status, etc.) needs to be taken into consideration when an individual of a diverse group expresses some oppression-related distress that effects their mental health. I advocate that the most appropriate method to help others is through context-specific responses which keep in mind that multiple categories of oppression co-exist within an individual's life to construct unique experiences of violence and abuse, and responses should be catered to an individual in a way that is respectful and accessible to a person, keeping their diverse needs in mind in a way that considers and validates their autonomy and goals towards personal growth. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments and often have mental health needs that would respond most positively to the approach listed above. My goal is to let those who have a poor quality of life due to having abusive experiences or having an unsupportive family know that getting out, finding safety and stability, and having their mental health needs met can be achievable. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that takes you in, tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all. I want to teach people how to accommodate themselves to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical, mental health, and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. If I could help communities have easier access to resources that allow would individuals of all diverse groups to have their unique needs met, that would be my ultimate goal. I deeply desire to help others and contribute to this becoming a reality in any way I can.
      Veerappan Memorial Scholarship
      Hello there! My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled, individual who has had to fight very hard through most of my life because I was forced to escape from an abusive family. I faced all sorts of cruelty (medical and general neglect, emotional, mental, and physical abuse, etc). I was largely resented as my needs were seen as largely inconvenient and I consequently was seen as a huge burden on my parent's shoulders. As well as this, Every family member of mine suffered from some kind of money-draining addiction. Both of my parents, unfortunately, prioritized numbing themselves from their (general life and parental) responsibilities and delved deeply into their addictions to escape them. They always lived in the moment, wasting money on their poor life choices instead of saving for the future, which made them suffer financially, and I also suffered greatly by extension. I've been alone as a teen for days on end in homes with little to no groceries, no power, and no water shut off. I survived by using my high school showers, washing machines, and food pantries with permission from instructors. Every house's general facilities, as well as my room, were barely suitable for living. I moved many times from 13 -16, transferring school districts and bouncing around multiple homes. My life was extremely unstable. I was under so much stress I was diagnosed with tics, panic attacks, a severe anxiety disorder, depression, and C-PTSD when I was 15 -18. I knew I had to take action and make a very hard choice. I realized that If I didn’t escape my situation, my life would not improve whatsoever. So, in the end, I steeled myself to decide. “I will just do it by all myself”. So from 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself from them slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. These steps included working jobs, sending emails to and taking calls with any organizations that could help me in secret, filling out my FAFSA, applying for SSI/food stamps, and applying to and registering myself for college all on my own behind closed doors. I have now graduated from a 2-year, but it wasn't easy at all. My housing stability was, and currently is still, dependent on living in a dorm. I almost wasn't able to completely afford last semester's classes and housing, even with the financial aid I had, and with the sacrifices I made by giving the college generous chunks of my measly Social Security Income. I have always thrown my entire being into my education. I desire nothing more than to work hard and advance in my studies so that I may get a future job that not only allows me to support myself, but also provides me with opportunities to advocate for and assist others who also need better lives. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments and struggle financially. I would love nothing more than to attend the 4-year college of my dreams, Landmark College in Vermont, and not have to stress and stretch myself constantly financially thin to afford housing (as living in the dorms is my only option once again) and education-related costs. But at the moment, my life situation and my poverty are huge barriers to achieving this. Any assistance in this matter would be so appreciated and life-changing. Thank you.
      Frank and Patty Skerl Educational Scholarship for the Physically Disabled
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy, and I would love nothing more than to pursue a career in social work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. It took all of my willpower to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. Growing up, I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. I was shamed for not only my condition but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, navigate court/government systems, and how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I know that the skills I have prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I would love to be able to educate people and make enough of a difference that people will instinctively consider the feelings of others, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Caring Futures Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy, and I would love nothing more than to pursue a career in social work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. It took all of my willpower to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. Growing up, I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. I was shamed for not only my condition but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, navigate court/government systems, and how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I know that the skills I have prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I would love to be able to educate people and make enough of a difference that people will instinctively consider the feelings of others, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      John Young 'Pursue Your Passion' Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. It took all of my willpower to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. Growing up, I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. I was shamed for not only my condition but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, navigate court/government systems, and how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I know that the skills I have prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I would love to be able to educate people and make enough of a difference that people will instinctively consider the feelings of others, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through being able to pay for Landmark College this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      VNutrition & Wellness’ Annual LGBTQ+ Vitality Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. I was shamed for not only my medical needs but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. These steps included working jobs, sending emails to and taking calls with any organizations that could help me in secret, filling out my FAFSA, and applying to and registering myself for college all on my own. Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to keep up with the necessities of living such as cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry, accessing food banks, and emotionally regulating under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, and how to handle adult responsibilities such as effective communication, organization, and time management. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I know that the skills I have prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that takes you in, tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ and disbaled community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all. I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want disabled and/or LGBTQ+ people to be able to access the medical and/or gender-affirming treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning, and my education (as well as my 4.0 GPA) to hold merit. I deeply desire to help others and contribute to positive change in any way I can.
      Robert and Suzi DeGennaro Scholarship for Disabled Students
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. College payments have been a great source of stress. Out of the few I have, the disability that helped shape my career goals and brought about my passion for helping other disabled people is my dystonia. I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. My tremors and my pain were constant, and I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. High school does not carry good memories for this reason. I know that people tend to make quick (and often incorrect) assumptions about individuals based on first impressions which creates opportunities for prejudice and animosity to occur. Knowing what it is like to be judged because of this, I would like nothing more than to educate people and make a difference so that people consider the feelings of everyone, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding, Helping people to make a habit of throwing their assumptions about others away and make room to get to know them, I believe, is a great first step. My great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate started from moments like this. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I feel the skills I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want people to be able to access the treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning, and my college education (as well as my 4.0 GPA) to hold merit. My graduation from a two-year college (NHTI) with high honors, I believe, is indicative of that. Even if I can’t change the world, I deeply desire to contribute to positive change in any way I can. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals and continue to have life stability is through attending and being able to pay for Landmark College (A four year) this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Grandmaster Nam K Hyong Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. College payments have been a great source of stress Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to keep up with the necessities of living such as cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry, accessing food banks, and emotionally regulating under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. I started little. Sneaking out of the house to make my own bank account and getting odd minimum-wage jobs I could manage while doing online college. For these jobs, I would discreetly take any extra hours I could, and sacrifice my free time and sleep at times to maintain this secret. I gathered legal documents, filled out FASFA forms, and convinced my parents to let me work an out-of-state Summer Camp job. I registered for college and sent emails to staff members secretly during my lunches and 15-minute breaks. I was accepted, had a dear friend assist me with the move, and was able to safely cut off contact with everyone who did me physical and psychological harm. I recently sent in my request for a 5-year extension on my protective order against my father. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. The financial stress of my life heavily weighs me down, as well as my never-ending struggle against becoming homeless. For now, living in dorms has been a temporary solution, but I am determined to find a more permanent solution as soon as I have access to resources that would afford me to do so, as well as being hopeful of someday transitioning from "barely able to functionally survive and afford life" to a much more stable position. Nonetheless, I have consistently been communicative with staff, pro-active with finding solutions, and faithfully made payments towards my education whenever I could, even if it came out of my meager income. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, and how to handle adult responsibilities such as effective communication, organization, and time management. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I feel the skills I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that takes you in, tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. I want to support any of those people in any way I can. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disbaled people.I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want people to be able to access the treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning, and my college education (as well as my 4.0 GPA) to hold merit. My graduation from my two-year college with accompanying rewards of being given the highest honors possible and an academic achievement award, I believe, is indicative of that. Even if I can’t change the world, I deeply desire to contribute to positive change in any way I can. I feel that the only way I can work towards achieving my goals and continually grasp any form of stability past August of this year is through gathering as much financial aid as possible and attending a four-year college and dorm there. Any help with my situation would be so appreciated and life-changing, and I would be so, so grateful. Thank you for hearing my story.
      Dwight "The Professor" Baldwin Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. College payments have been a great source of stress. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. Out of the few I have, the disability that helped shape my career goals and brought about my passion for helping other disabled people is my dystonia. I used to be completely unable to walk and lacked any ability to control my muscles. My tremors and my pain were constant, and I remember the distress I felt not only because of how my condition impacted my quality of life, but because of how others judged and perceived me, and made assumptions instead of trying to get to know me. High school does not carry good memories for this reason. I know that people tend to make quick (and often incorrect) assumptions about individuals based on first impressions which creates opportunities for prejudice and animosity to occur. Knowing what it is like to be judged because of this, I would like nothing more than to educate people and make a difference so that people consider the feelings of everyone, and acknowledge their diversities from a place of kindness, respect, patience, and understanding, Helping people to make a habit of throwing their assumptions about others away and make room to get to know them, I believe, is a great first step. My great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate started from moments like this. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I feel the skills I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disbaled people. I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want people to be able to access the treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning, and my college education (as well as my 4.0 GPA) to hold merit. My graduation from a two-year college (NHTI) with high honors, I believe, is indicative of that. Even if I can’t change the world, I deeply desire to contribute to positive change in any way I can. The only way I can see myself achieving my goals is through attending and being able to pay for Landmark College (A four year) this upcoming Fall 2024 semester, (I am delighted to say I have been accepted!) so any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you!
      Pool Family LGBT+ Scholarship
      Winner
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. I was shamed for not only my medical needs but for being my out and authentic self and expressing myself freely. I was told constantly that I was not acceptable. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. These steps included working jobs, sending emails tp and taking calls with any organizations that could help me in secret, filling out my FAFSA, and applying to and registering myself for college all on my own. Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to keep up with the necessities of living such as cooking meals, cleaning, doing laundry, accessing food banks, and emotionally regulating under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I have now achieved this and so, so much more. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, and how to handle adult responsibilities such as effective communication, organization, and time management. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I feel the skills I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. My goal is to let those who have an abusive and/or supportive family situation know that getting out is an option. Building a life that affirms yourself, where thriving, and healing, and having a spiritual/found family that takes you in, tells you "you are worth it", and supports you in every way you ever dreamed of, is POSSIBLE. Self-affirmation and communal love are the central joys of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I want to spread knowledge about disabilities and help rectify the pervasive misinformation that contributes to public stigma about disabled people. I want to make a change that fosters an accepting environment for all. I want to teach people how to accommodate for themselves and to be able to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. I want people to be able to access the treatment they need without having to deal with years-long waitlists and distorted systems. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning, and my education (as well as my 4.0 GPA) to hold merit. Even if I can’t change the world, I deeply desire to help others and contribute to positive change in any way I can.
      TEAM ROX Scholarship
      My name is Sullivan Bono. I am a 23-year-old queer, disabled individual who is passionate about human rights advocacy work. I am in great need of help paying for college as I escaped an abusive family on my own and have great financial struggles as a result. From 17-19, I made and executed a two-year escape plan. I would separate myself slowly and subtly, and take steps towards my complete independence. These steps included working jobs, sending emails out to any organizations that could help me in secret, filling out my FAFSA, and applying to and registering myself for college all on my own. Due to the violence and neglect I faced, I also had to function without aid or support for extended periods of time. I learned how to keep up with the necessities of living such as cooking meals, deep cleaning the house and my room, doing laundry, accessing food banks, and emotionally regulating under the stress of these responsibilities while also dedicating myself to my studies. It took all of my willpower to survive and to believe that escape was a realistic option. I had now achieved this and so, so much more. As a result of my life situation, I have developed many skills, such as learning how to access and navigate community resources, state resources, and court systems, learning how to advocate for myself and others in a clear and assertive but still respectful manner, and how to handle adult responsibilities such as effective communication, organization, and time management. One great strength I have is that I am extremely dedicated and once I have a goal set, I am determined to meet it. I am skilled at critical thinking, and I have also developed quite a proficiency in research and communicating articulately. I have found great motivation to pursue social work and to be a human rights advocate. I would love to be known as an advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ and disabled community (often these spheres have great overlap) as those are the populations who often do not come from the best family environments. I know that the skills I have gained prove that there is nothing better I am suited for. I want nothing more than my struggles to have meaning and my 4.0 GPA to hold its merit. Even if I can’t change the world (as setting that goal feels far too pretentious) I deeply desire to help others and contribute to positive change in any way I can.