Rainbow Scholarship


In 2003 Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley (PrideGLV) created new programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) youth and their supportive friends. As organizers Liz Sherry, Constance Kristofik, and Brad Wentz reflected on their lives as gay teens in the Lehigh Valley, they sought to encourage academic achievement, build self esteem and provide positive reinforcement for queer youth. With assistance from Carson Kressley, Eastern PA PFLAG, Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley, educator Rachel Zane and other community leaders, the first Rainbow Scholarship award was awarded in June 2005. The scholarship amounts intend to increase as community involvement grows.

Contribute to the Rainbow Scholarship Fund

Award Descriptions

  • LGBT Student of the Year - $500 Award - Awarded to a LGBT student who is a positive force in the LGBT community through participation in the community activities.
  • Rainbow Award - $500 Award - Awarded to a LGBT student based on academic excellence
  • Diversity Essay Contest - $200 Award – Awarded to any student regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity

Eligibility Requirements

You are eligible to apply for the Diversity Essay Contest if:

  • You are currently a senior in high school with plans to attend an accredited higher education institution, or are already enrolled in an accredited higher education institution within the following counties: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill and Warren (Note: Your high school, accredited higher education institution, or both must be within the nine identified counties.)

  • You have not won more than three awards total in any category (LGBT Student of the Year, Rainbow Award, Diversity Essay Contest) in any year. Applicants may only win a maximum of three awards total from the Rainbow Scholarship Program.

You are eligible to apply for the LGBT Student of Year and Rainbow Award Scholarships if:

  • You meet the criteria listed above

  • You self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender

In order to be considered for any of the awards, you must submit:

  • A completed application

  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic standing and community engagement

  • Transcript from high school and/or accredited institute of higher education (as appropriate)

  • LGBT Student of the Year and Rainbow Awards: Discussion Questions (section D of the application)

  • Diversity Essay Contest: Essay Question (Section E of the application)

Application Process

  • Application materials will be available at www.prideglv.org.
  • All application materials must be received at rainbowscholarship@prideglv.org or at the following address by July 1:
    Rainbow Scholarship
    c/o PrideGLV
    522 W Maple St
    Allentown, PA 18101
  • Winners’ names will be released to the media, published at prideglv.org, and distributed electronically through the PrideGLV newsletter.
  • All application materials and essays are confidential and will undergo anonymous review by a team of local professionals and community leaders
  • Winners must provide current mailing address and proof of enrollment in an accredited institute of higher education no later than September 30th of the award year. Acceptable forms of proof of enrollment include letter of good standing from academic adviser on institution letter head with original signature, or a class schedule for the current semester.
  • Awards will be disbursed to an address provided by the applicant upon receipt of proof of enrollment.