While many of today’s LGBT youth experience more freedoms than in the past, some still have to choose to stay in the closet to receive an education, or work instead of going to school. But thanks to the PFLAG-HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation, the price of higher education doesn’t have to mean a loss of dignity.
The nonprofit organization is holding a fashion show to help promote the message that many LGBT youth experience hardship and need the funds—and to raise the funds for its mission. The event, Wicked Haute, is a spin on the Wicked musical and haute couture, and will feature a fashion show, a live auction, a selective raffle, and more. It will take place at Meteor Bar on Oct. 21 from 6–9 p.m.
“Raising money is always a good thing, but we also want to raise consciousness in the community about these kids,” said Linda Enger, president of PHYSF. “They need very badly to get assistance to go to school; we give out 15 to 20 scholarships a year, and the ones we give would have no means to go to school without it.”
Like other nonprofits around the country, PHYSF has seen a drop in funding—but the organization is working to bring in funds.
“In recent years, not unlike any other nonprofit, we’ve experienced the crunch of the economy, and we’re happy to say we still support students,” Enger said. “Last year we awarded $90,000 in scholarships and scholarship extensions.”
She encourages anyone who wants to volunteer for the application review committees to contact the group. For those who are considering a donation to a worthy cause, Enger calls a donation to PHYSF an investment in the future of the LGBT community.
“The most important message we have is that we have a huge number of students out there who have recently come out as LGBT who are in true need of help for their education,” she said. “Many have been turned away by their own families, and we are essentially now their family.”
For more information about the PFLAG-HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation and applying for a scholarship, visit physf.org or call Enger at 832/215-8548. — Josef Molnar