Indy PFLAG Scholarship Winners
2011 - Devin Roberts
The 2011 Indy PFLAG scholarship has been awarded to Devin Roberts. Devin graduated from Avon High School this past May and plans to become a Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon. The scholarship committee cited his extensive scholarship, numerous extra-curricular activities and glowing recommendations from his Advanced Placement teachers as reasons for his selection. We all wish him much success in his studies at Indiana University beginning this Fall.
2010 - Christopher Brace and Chelsea Shamy
Christopher Brace, from Evansville, is attending the University of Southern Indiana full-time, taking part in USI activities, living on his own, working, and leading the Tri-state Alliance (TSA) Youth Group. He has helped organize celebrity dinners to raise money for low-income families impacted by AIDs. Chris is majoring in Spanish and works to help the TSA approach the local Latino community with HIV prevention messages. Chris hopes to become a government-appointed Spanish interpreter. His references describe him as a strong and quiet leader. They report that he has a positive attitude and is a highly motivated self-starter.
Chelsea Shamy, from Losantville. has attended Indy PFLAG meetings, so we've seen her enthusiasm, energy and composure first hand. She came out in Union High School as a sophomore and then started a GSA. She just started her freshman year at Purdue University and hopes to become a trainer for a college or professional sports team. She was active in high school helping to host blood drives and helping to plan a relay for life that raised $800 for the National Cancer Society. She has been a cheerleader and has had leadership in the Drama Club. Chelsea has a record of accomplishments in academics and music. Her references describe her as loyal and devoted, charming, bubbly and spirited.
2007 - Kaytee Slagle and Shawn Delmolino
Kaytee Slagle and Shawn Delmolino
Kaytee Slagle has been an active volunteer: at the Lighthouse Mission, on a church mission trip to Panama and Costa Rica, and at Sheltering Wings -- a battered woman's shelter. She attended Ball State for 2 years, then transferred to IU, where she is now majoring in Criminology, with a minor in Sociology.
Her plans are incredibly specific: "The weekend after I graduate from IU, I'm moving to Los Angeles to work with homicide, domestic violence, grand theft auto, bank fraud and forensics. After 3 years in LA, my girlfriend and I are planning on getting married. When I'm 27, I will be filing for adoption. I want 2 girls, one from Africa and the other from Thailand. I have a real passion for the poverty problem in Africa and would like to go work in a children's hospital for my honeymoon. I also have a passion for Thailand because the girls there are sold into prostitution at the age of 8."
PFLAG is happy to award Kaytee a $500 scholarship in the name of Dianna Roark, who we are sure would have been delighted with this winner.
Shawn Delmolino is currently a student at Ball State University, majoring in Social Work. In high school she was a volunteer tutor and president of SADD, Students Against Drunk Driving.
Shawn attended a Catholic Heart Work Camp that worked on a poor man's house in St. Louis. They cleaned up the grounds of a junker car, dozens of bags of trash, cut up a fallen tree, put up a privacy fence, painted the house, replaced the door and built new steps. She noticed he slept in a sleeping bag in the kitchen beside an empty refrigerator buzzing with flies.
"On our last day he came out to the front of his house just before we left with a cardboard box. He set the box on the ground, looked at us, smiled, thanked us profusely. Then he opened the box to show a collection of never-before-worn t-shirts, that he probably got for free from somewhere and collected over the years. Wow. What an awesome moment in time. I wish I had held onto it more tightly. The day that changed my life, and one of the many reasons I want to go into social work, was the day that the poor sheltered me with clothing."
2006 - Kim Richards and Leo Stellwag
Kim Richards and Leo Stellwag
Kimberley A. Richards graduated last year from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School where she was co-founder of an organization they called "UNITY" for GLBT students. To quote from her application,
"One of my friends and I began the process of starting a new club at Brebeuf, and typed up a proposal to form a Gay-Straight Alliance. After jumping through a semester's worth of hoops, we finally were approved to start our club. We were told that we could not be affiliated with the national organization the Gay-Straight Alliance because it promoted acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. We came up with the name United Network of Individuals for Tolerant Youth (UNITY), because at Brebeuf we could only ask our peers to tolerate our choices rather than accept who we were. Asking them to accept us might go against their religious beliefs. We also could not ask anyone to join our club, because that would be a form of recruiting for the homosexual lifestyle. Though it was not exactly what we had been aiming for, my friend and I were the first to create a club of this nature in faith-based school in the Indianapolis area. I am proud to be able to say that UNITY is still in existence today, and that my brother is serving as co-president this year."
Kimberley is going to start her higher education at Ivy Tech Community College, with the eventual goal of becoming a book editor. PFLAG is happy to award her a $500 scholarship in the name of Dianna Roark, who we are sure would have been delighted with this winner.
Leonard Stellwag identified as a lesbian for 10 years before transitioning to become a male. He has been attending Ball State. He has done numerous presentations on transgender issues at Ball State, in Boston and throughout Central Indiana. Ball State Professor Judi Egbert had this to say for Leonard in a letter of recommendation:
"A year ago Leo helped me get information on Transgender Day of Remembrance. I was able to take along a person who was amidst transitioning Male to Female. For her it was a truly life altering experience to feel affirmed through participation in the reflective ceremony, as well as to more deeply realize that there is yet much work to be done to make the world a safer place. Leo has been a key source of affirmation for her."
Leonard had been a graduate assistant in Ball State's Biology department and plans to enter a doctoral program to do research on arthropod behavior ecology.
2005 - Austin Williams
Austin has been very actively involved in a variety of organizations as a community leader in promoting LGBT issues since 1995. His testimony at last year's Indianapolis City-County Council hearings regarding the Human Rights Ordinance amendment informed many in its honesty and forthrightness.
The Indianapolis Star (12-14-2005) quoted Austin in Gay Rights Plan Stands Chance of Passing This Time:
- Several black religious leaders said they opposed equating what they consider an immoral choice with the civil rights they were denied based on the color of their skin.
- Austin Williams, a gay black resident of Downtown, said two minority groups shouldn't fight over who has suffered more. "I've been discriminated against as a black man, and I've been discriminated against as a gay man, and it feels exactly the same."
Austin is headed for the Savannah College of Art and Design to fulfill his dream of becoming a furniture designer, helping others design their living spaces around their needs. We have no doubt that his future will be bright. Congratulations, Austin! Take Indy PFLAG's good wishes to Savannah with you.