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Thursday, August 9, 2012

NEWS: Three Young Leaders Making a Difference in Their Communities Selected for the Equality Leadership Scholarship

Three Young Leaders Making a Difference in Their Communities Selected for the Equality Leadership Scholarship
Equality Utah Foundation, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Utah, announce the second annual Equality Leadership Scholarship Recipients
Salt Lake City – After a competitive application process, Jackson Carter, Karissa Killian, and George Zamantakis have been selected as awardees of the Equality Leadership Scholarship for the upcoming school year.
Jackson Carter is attending Weber State University, majoring in Theatre with a Teaching Emphasis and minoring in Sociology. Carter first became involved with Ogden Outreach as a youth participant at the age of fifteen. Currently, he serves as their volunteer coordinator and is the youngest member to ever sit on the Board of Directors. With the goal of becoming a teacher, he plans to help students start and maintain Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs and show LGBTQ students that they have the support of the staff and faculty. Jackson says, "This scholarship means so much to me because it will allow me to spend less time at work and more time focusing on the things I love: attending college and helping to build happy, healthy communities for queer people."
Karissa Killian will be a freshman at Westminster College studying environmental science. She started a GSA and served as both president and senior class representative while at Cyprus High School to create a space where she could not only be herself but would serve as a safe space for other students as well. Killian, who has always dreamed of going to college, but worried about the financial means to do so, was surprised and excited to be chosen for the Equality Leadership Scholarship, stating, “This scholarship is a huge help and relief to me. It gives me confidence in myself, my abilities, and my accomplishments which I gained through my involvement with the LGBTQ community. This is a great tool that will allow me to fulfill my dreams and goals for success.”
A 2012 freshman at the University of Utah, George Zamantakis grew up in Carbon County, Utah and started a GSA while at Carbon High School, where his leadership in the face of challenges taught him the meaning of persistence. He plans to present anti-bullying assemblies across the state over the next year as a continuation of his GSA involvement as a way to create safe and inclusive schools for all students. With a belief that people can fight discrimination in an intelligent and nonviolent manner, George says, “I am so honored to be a recipient and this scholarship further motivates me to demand equality now. No matter what profession I choose, no matter how much I make, no matter where I live, my number one goal is to see America embrace the LGBT community and acknowledge the fact that we are not second-class citizens. Attending university and taking a step up professionally will put me one step closer to making that dream a reality."
Carter, Killian, and Zamantakis will be honored at Equality Utah’s Allies Dinner on September 27th.
About the Equality Utah Foundation
Equality Utah Foundation, an IRS 501 c (3) organization, educates the LGBT community and the public-at-large about issues impacting the LGBT community and our allies, trains them to respond and to work proactively for LGBT equality. On the web at www.equalityutah.org
About the Community Foundation of Utah
Community Foundation of Utah, an IRS 501 c (3) public charity was established in 2008. It is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, sustainable and inclusive. On the web at www.utahcf.org

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