Scholarship Overview  


In July 2000, 10 young queer Asians and Pacific Islanders received a much needed boost thanks to the generosity of visionary philanthropist Edward Cheng Ming Tang. Each year, the Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Pride Scholarship Fund will award scholarships totaling $16,000 to deserving applicants. “The goal of this landmark scholarship program is to help eradicate the isolation, invisibility, homophobia and heterosexism faced by thousands of Asian and Pacific Islander lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth living in the Bay Area and beyond,” said A&PIWC’s executive director John Manzon-Santos. “An equally important outcome will be that all teachers, parents and young people who learn about the Pride Scholarship will be reminded that their Asian and Pacific Islander students, children and friends might be struggling to come out and need their support.”

Scholarship applicants must be 22 years old or younger, of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQQ), live in the San Francisco Bay Area, be a senior in high school, have a high school diploma or GED, or be attending a college or university and indicate financial need.

Ed Tang, a Chinese immigrant, successful businessperson, father and gay man, established the Pride Scholarship to help Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQQ youth achieve educational pursuits and dreams, proudly and without shame. “The Pride Scholarship gives people like me the opportunity to go to college. By being true to who we are, we risk losing the support of family and friends, but we deserve the same chance to succeed. My gratitude to Ed Tang for acknowledging this,” said Desmond Kwok, a peer leader from Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center’s AQU25A (Asian & Pacific Islander, Queer and Questioning, 25 & Under Altogether) program.

A national survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students by the Washington, DC-based National Youth Advocacy Coalition found that 86% of youth reported hearing homophobic remarks in their classrooms, 28% reported experiences of physical harassment (being shoved, pushed, etc.) and 14% reported experiences of physical assault (being beaten, punched, kicked, etc.). The experience of Asian and Pacific Islander youth was no different from the general population -- they suffered as well: 94% reported hearing homophobic remarks in school and 13% reported being physically harassed.

This new and historic scholarship recognizes these challenges and strives to break down barriers in order for Asian and Pacific Islander LGBTQQ youth to achieve their educational goals. “Young people need to see positive images of themselves,” commented Ed Tang at a reception honoring the scholarship recipients. “The Pride Scholarship is one way to help.” The work is spearheaded by youth from our AQU25A program who are coordinating the scholarship’s recruitment and selection process. You can obtain an application on our website. We also invite you to contribute to the Pride Scholarship Fund so even more young people can benefit in the future.

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