Chippewa Valley (WQOW)- According to the Human Rights Campaign, over 40 percent of LGBTQ youth across the nation do not feel their communities are accepting of the LGBTQ community. The Luginbill Children's Foundation is working to change that in the Chippewa Valley.
It's called the Andrew Cray Memorial Scholarship. Organizers said it's the first LGBTQ leadership and scholarship in the state. Andrew Cray was a Chi-Hi graduate who spent his adult life fighting for LGBTQ rights in Washington. He died in 2014 from cancer complications. Program organizers created this program in his honor, and said it's meant to give local LGBTQ youth the same opportunity to grow and succeed.
"We've seen the really heartbreaking statistics about LGBTQ youth who end up in poverty situations, sometimes even homeless because they lack that family support and financial support from their family and friends. So that's what we're seeking to do here is fill that gap and give them that opportunity to be the next generation of innovators and dreamers and decision makers," said Joe Luginbill with the Luginbill Children's Foundation.
A fundraiser for the scholarship is scheduled for February 24 at the Lismore. Organizers said the application process will be open after that, in order to be ready for the first scholarship awarded to a student in this year's graduating class.