Each spring, PFLAG of Cape Cod awards several thousand dollars to graduating seniors from high schools across the Cape and Islands who will be furthering their education at an institution of higher learning. Students chosen for these awards have shown, through their actions and example, a commitment to promoting equality for LGBTQ students. Since 2003, we have awarded over $58,000 in scholarships.
This year's $3,000 scholarship recipient, from a total of 12 worthy applicants, is Jonathan Peters of Sturgis Charter School in Hyannis! When he was 15, Jonathan came out and shortly thereafter entered Sturgis Charter School as an out-and-proud gay teenager. At Sturgis, he joined clubs geared toward social justice and diversity, and embarked on what would become a future in activism. He created the Youth OUTreach Program (which focuses on helping and mentoring other LGBT students), became a feminist, and was involved in numerous activities and organizations in and out of school, including being a basketball player and an intern assistant basketball coach at Sturis. After attending a 10 day leadership-in-action summit in Washington, DC following his sophomore year, Jonathan was inspired to create a conference geared toward developing a higher level of comfort in disclosing and discussing gender identity and sexual orientation among high school students and student athletes. After 15 intense months of organizing and fundraising, the conference was held in October of 2016 at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis. Titled "Identifying the Intersection of Athletics, LGBTQ Diversity and Anti-bullying Rhetoric", the event was attended by over 150 students, coaches, and community organizers from Cape Cod and Massachusetts (including PFLAG of Cape Cod as a co-sponsor). The hugely successful event was the crowning achievement of his high school career and garnered widespread media attention and coverage! This fall, Jonathan will attend Hofstra University where he plans to study sociology and psychology. PFLAG of Cape Cod thanks Jonathan for his many contributions to the LGBTQ community, congratulates him for being awarded this year's scholarship, and wishes him much success on a very promising future! (For more information and videos from the conference, go to: www.sturgissoundings.wordpress.com and select the event from the Winter 2017 Menu.)