Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship

Niagara Pride, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) organization serving LGBTQ+ individuals and families in Niagara County, NY and the surrounding areas. We believe in the power of education and recognize that finances remain a critical barrier for all students, even more so for those who are LGBTQ +.

Our scholarship program was established in 2021 and consists of an annual $500 award to help aid in the costs of pursuing educational opportunities beyond high school. This scholarship is aimed primarily at benefiting those LGBTQ+ young adults, and allies, who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing social justice, reducing inequities, and increasing the overall health of their community.

The Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Jean Hopkins, a life-long resident of Niagara Falls and fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Jean devoted her life to helping other people, from helping her friends and relatives with projects around their houses, to being active in church and community activities, to working with several LGBTQ+ organizations. She served on the Board of Trustees at First Congregational United Church of Christ, as a Deacon at Riverside Presbyterian Church, and as President of the Eagles Club. Jean became involved with the Heart, Love and Soul soup kitchen and food pantry which was the organization she was most honored to serve.

Jean Hopkins was a founding Board of Director of Niagara Pride and was particularly proud of the organization’s work to assist LGBTQ+ youth and with its work with Niagara County churches. Jean Hopkins made Western New York and particularly Niagara County, a more inclusive community, and a better place for all people to live and be respected.

The Spring 2022 application has now closed.

Applicant Criteria

We invite all students that meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Must be 18 years of age, or able to provide parental consent to apply for the scholarship;
  • Currently a senior in high school with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or a minimum B average;
  • Must be pursuing full-time registration for the fall semester of the 2022-2023 school year at an accredited community college, four-year public or private college or university, certificate program, or vocational/technical/trade program;
  • Identify as LGBTQ+ and/or has demonstrated support of the LGBTQ+ community; and
  • Reside in Western New York (Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee, and Orleans counties)

Application Requirements

To apply, please click the button below. If you have any questions, please contact the Scholarship Committee at scholarship@niagarapride.org:

  • Resume detailing work experience, extracurricular activities, and volunteering experience;
  • Unofficial high school transcript that includes the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year;
  • Proof of acceptance and enrollment in the 2022-2023 school year;
  • Complete the online application;
  • Please provide a short response to any three of the following prompts (each response should be no more than 250 words):
    • Describe the challenges you anticipate facing in completing your education.
    • As an adult, how do you see yourself contributing to the LGBTQ+ community?
    • How have you made a difference in your community?
    • Tell us about a time when you had a belief or idea challenged.
    • How will you change your chosen field or industry?
    • Describe a time in your life that has shaped who you are as a person.
    • How do you define success?
    • Describe a meaningful volunteer experience.
    • What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve ever faced? How did you handle it?
    • Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
  • Sit for a 30-minute interview, in person or via zoom call.

Past Winners

2022

Niagara Pride Awards Inaugural Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship to Local WNY High School Graduate

Niagara Falls, NY – Niagara Pride, Inc. is thrilled to announce that it awarded its inaugural Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship to Genevieve Harris of Appleton, NY in July 2022.
Harris was selected based on her commitment and dedication to the LGBTQ+ community, through her actions of creating a GSA at her high school despite the obstacles posed by a global pandemic. Harris also worked to educate others in her community about LGBTQ+ terminology through the creation of display cases at her local school. Her efforts helped bring about a safe and welcoming environment for current and future students.
Harris will be attending Alfred State College in the Fall of 2022, pursing a degree in Radiology Technology.
“It is such a great honor to receive the Jean Hopkins Memorial Scholarship. It can so often feel like what you do is never enough, and that your best efforts have little impact. This award is so much more to me than just another scholarship. It’s proof that my efforts are making a difference, and that kids like me can have success in all that they do,” said Harris.
Harris added, “[This is an] incredible honor that my founding of the GSA, and therefore the club as a whole, has received…it not only means a lot to me, but to every queer kid in Barker who has struggled with acceptance.”