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Todd Amdor to receive PFLAG/HATCH’s first annual honor.

Todd Amdor

Recognizing Leadership

Early scholarship recipient to receive PFLAG/HATCH’s first annual honor.

by Josef Molnar

Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans and a student isn’t always easy. But thanks to the efforts of Todd Amdor and others at the PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation (PHYSF), covering some of the costs of education can be a little bit easier.

While the Washington DC attorney is no longer a board member or visibly active in the organization, Amdor still finds time to donate his services to the organization, says Linda E. Enger, vice president of PHYSF.

“[He] continues to offer us legal assistance whenever we need it, and he continues to be very close to the foundation by offering us his support,” she says.

Amdor’s service to the LGBT community has qualified him to be the first official annual honoree of the organization. His award will be presented at the PHYSF Spring Fling on May 13 at the Alley Theatre. “I was very excited to learn they’re choosing me,” he says.

Amdor’s association with PHYSF began in 2002, when he was a recipient of one of the group’s scholarships while he was in school. Since then, he has gone on to return the favor through his ongoing support of the foundation.

“I came out and became very involved in Houston’s gay and lesbian community,” he says. “I’ve been involved in every side of this organization.”

It’s the kind of response that added to his popularity with the board, and is an attitude that PHYSF hopes to foster in all of its recipients.

“In our minds, Todd is a leading example of the kind of kids we want to support, and what we hope is that by doing that, they’ll turn around and give back to the community,” Enger says.

The PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation was formed in 1999 with the merger of separate programs offered by the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and the Houston Area Teen Coalition of Homosexuals (HATCH). The foundation has given almost $1 million in scholarships since then.

Enger says the organization’s frugality and focus on funneling its donations directly into scholarships makes a big difference in how much it can offer to students in need.

“There are larger scholarship organizations out there, but they have a paid staff,” she says. “We are a 100 percent volunteer organization, and all of the things we do, from the Spring Fling to the mailouts, are paid for out-of-pocket by the volunteers.”

Amdor says the level of support that Houston’s LGBT community offers to the scholarship program is a testament to its strength. “This program shows what good can be done when people get involved and help out others. I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Tickets to the Spring Fling cocktail event are $50, which go toward the scholarship fund. The event features hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and a silent auction. For more information about the event, or to donate to the PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation, visit physf.org or call Linda Enger at 832/215-8548.

Josef Molnar is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.

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