The largest Indigenous Pride celebration in the country is proud to announce the launch of the Nááts'íílid Rainbow Youth Scholarship Program. The online application will launch on Friday, April 16, 2021, with a deadline set for Friday, May 28, 2021, at 12:00 midnight (MST).
Two separate scholarships will be presented during a special virtual event and drive-in Pride Festival scheduled for June. In a press release from Diné Pride, Academic Director, Nicole Johnny said,
We send appreciation to all our community donors and Indigenous small businesses for supporting this scholarship program over the last three years. So many LGBTQIA+ young people have benefited from our support and they are the leaders we invested in. From attending college to using the funding for fellowship programs - our Pride Scholars are determined to give back to the communities we serve. Diné Pride is impacting so many lives around the country.
The Nááts'íílid Rainbow Youth Scholarship is a one-time $1,000 dollar scholarship to be awarded to two (2) High School senior students from the Navajo Nation who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-binary, and/or two-spirit. Applicants must have made a significant contribution to the LGBTQIA+ community and are addressing concerns facing their peers today.
Misty Sandoval is completing her freshman year at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She added,
I am proud to be a Nááts'íílid Scholar and appreciate everyone who supports Diné Pride to make this scholarship possible. The first year of college for any young person can be intimidating as you navigate campus, purchase books, and settle into proper housing. This funding has allowed me to attend classes and do better as a student. One day in the future I plan to return home to help my people and Pride supported me through this journey.
Serving in his third year as Diné Pride Executive Director, Alray Nelson said,
The Nááts'íílid Rainbow Scholarship was created to empower and uplift the next generation of Indigenous LGBTQ+ youth leaders. For far too long, Western enculturation has distorted identity and the existence of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit youth amongst the Diné people. We plan to change that narrative by helping our own students excel in their higher education journey. Diné Pride is determined to give back to the communities we serve.
This scholarship is made possible by the community donors for Diné Pride and Diné Equality that has raised thousands of dollars for worthy causes since its inception in 2013. Both organizations have gained national recognition in Indian Country for the tireless work each has done on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit community.