Pictured above left to right: 2020 Scholarship Recipients Zoe Valladares, Mellissa Mayen Granados and Brian Garcia.
Queer Latinx organization, LULAC Lambda, has awarded $1,000 scholarships to three students graduating from District of Columbia high schools.
“For a third year in a row, LULAC Lambda will provide scholarships to outstanding scholars enrolled in DC schools who come from our Queer Latinx community. Our scholarship program will help these scholars achieve their academic goals and reduce their student debt,” said Erik Rodriquez, LULAC Lambda president. “We want to thank the BHT Foundation, The DC Eagle and The DC Sisters who have supported our fundraising efforts to keep this scholarship alive.”
LULAC Lambda is one of 1,000 chapters across the U.S. affiliated with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s largest and oldest Latinx volunteer-based civil rights organization. One of the goals of LULAC is to increase access to education, so it encourages local chapters like LULAC Lambda to sponsor scholarships.
“The scholarship committee looked at academic performance and a student’s work in the social justice space,” said Bri Perez-Brennan, LULAC Lambda Vice President. “We had a great response and decided to award three scholarships to our top candidates.”
Zoe Valladares: Valladares will graduate from Washington Leadership Academy Public Charter School this May. President of her school’s Honor Society, she is both an academic success and a social justice warrior. Valladares protested the use of homophobic language among students and led a sensitivity presentation for her peers. “Advocacy has always been a value that I believe is important to share. As an Afro-Latina and a member of the LGBTQI+ community, there will be prejudice faced that needs to be fought against for others who cannot raise their voices –– within and outside of these communities.” Valladares plans to go into the field of computer science and is currently deciding among the University of Delaware, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, Pace University, University of Maryland-College Park and University of Maine.
Melissa Mayen Granados: “I’m a proud Latina. I’m also a proud LQBTQ+ member. I’m the daughter of two immigrants from El Salvador. I’m a strong activist that fights for LGBTQ+ rights, Latinx rights, Black rights, affordable housing, and more. I’m the fighter that my people at home wouldn’t expect me to be. And soon enough, the people I fight for will be winners,” said Mayen Granados, a star soccer player and May graduate from Benjamin Banneker High School. Aside from her studies and sports, Mayen Granados improved literacy rates in her neighborhood by volunteering at community centers to teach younger students how to read. The future political science major wants to become an immigration lawyer. She’s hoping to attend the University of Connecticut next fall.
Brian Garcia: National honor society member, literary magazine editor and weekly tutor are some of the roles Garcia took on as a student at E.L. Haynes High School. This community-minded, out and proud LGBTQ+ individual graduates this May and is headed to American University. Currently, Garcia is deciding between a future career in physical therapy or psychology. “I have a few things in mind, such as becoming a physical therapist or a therapist. I do know that in the future I want to be able to help those in need. Right now, I am working at Giant as a cashier, and I am helping those in need. I’m grateful I have the opportunity to help those in need during this pandemic we are all going through.”
The 2021 scholarship program will accept applications on November 1, 2020 at www.lulaclambda.org/scholarship.
LULAC Lambda was founded in October 2014 to mobilize and strengthen the LGBTQ and Latinx communities of Washington, D.C., through community and civic engagement. For more information, visit www.lulaclambda.org.
Applications for the 2021 Scholarship
will be accepted starting November 2021.
Click here for the 2020 application.
Click here for 2020 eligibility.
to Past Scholarship Sponsors:
Brother Help Thyself
The DC Eagle
Latino GLBT History Project
The DC Sisters
Zoe Valladares (2020)
Washington Leadership Academy
Melissa Mayen Granados (2020)
Benjamin Banneker High School
Brian Garcia (2020)
E.L. Haynes High School
Thalia Lin Flores (2019)
Latin Public Charter School
Seth Canada (2019)
Steph Niaupari (2019)
Maria Gramajo (2018)
Mirna Elizabeth Maldonado (2018)
Benjamin Banneker High School