Sandhills PRIDE, a support network and educational advocacy group dedicated to increasing awareness and acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) community in the Sandhills region, announced the recipients of their 2023 Sandhills PRIDE Scholarship.
The three awardees are high school seniors Cheyenne Minor, who has been awarded a $5,000 two-year scholarship, and Kaleigh Barbour and Juice Privitera, who have each been awarded a $2,500 one-year scholarship.
Scholarship applications were received from high school seniors in Cumberland, Moore, and Lee counties. Selection is based on academic excellence, community service and engagement, and demonstrated advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and allies.
Cheyenne Minor – $5,000 awardee
Cheyenne (She/Her) attends North Moore High School in Robbins, NC. She plans to attend University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Cheyenne is a self-disciplined and dedicated senior who regularly gives back to her community through volunteer activities, including working at her local food bank. In addition to competing at the State Convention with the Future Business Leaders of America, Cheyenne participates in numerous extracurricular activities including her school’s GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) Club, which motivated her to actively advocate for LGBTQ+ rights by reaching out to state legislators regarding numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced.
As well, she is a member of Beta Club, an academic honors program with a strong emphasis on leadership and community service, and CyberPatriot, a national youth cyber education program created by the Air Force Association to help direct students toward careers in STEM. Cheyenne plans to work in the field of Psychology after college.
Kaleigh Barbour – $2,500 awardee
Kaleigh (She/Her) attends Cape Fear High School in Stedman, NC. She plans to attend Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville.
Kaleigh is a passionate and vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole and specifically for her school peers at her school. In addition to being a member of the varsity cheerleading squad and a student journalist, she is also a key member of the SIDE (Student Involvement Diversity and Equity) Club and, through her work with the club, has been instrumental in finding ways to increase support for the LGBTQ+ community at her school including making sure books with inclusive representation were available and properly displayed in the school library.
Additionally, Kaleigh has served on the yearbook staff where she worked diligently to ensure representation of the LGBTQ+ community throughout the yearbook. Kaleigh will be studying English, Sociology, and Political Science at FTCC.
Juice Privitera – $2,500 awardee
Juice (They/Them) attends Union Pines High School in Cameron. They plan to attend University of Texas in Arlington, TX.
As a nonbinary individual and LGBTQ+ rights advocate, Juice dedicates a majority of their time outside of school using their social media platform to create educational videos about LGBTQ+ history and the present-day challenges from the increasing number of anti-trans pieces of legislation being brought forth.
In addition, they have created connection for community through an online discussion group where participants are free to share experiences and ask questions in a safe and affirming space.
With the increase in anti-trans legislation, Juice has shifted their focus to political lobbying against such bills.
Passionate about mathematics, in their future they hope to focus on increasing the representation of trans individuals and women in STEM careers as well as promoting equal pay and advocating for equal recognition within STEM fields. Juice will be studying Mathematics, Linguistics, and Women’s and Gender Studies at University of Texas.
“Today’s high schoolers are more in touch with their true selves and carry more awareness than my generation”, said Angie Averitte, who has served on the scholarship committee since 2019 and became chair in 2020. “Many have faced personal struggles with being accepted which only solidifies their drive to make a positive difference in society. They are resilient, engaged and energized and remind me that our work will never be done, and we must continue to lead by example so no one is denied the right to be themselves.”
The Sandhills PRIDE Scholarship winners will be honored at a reception to be held at The Country Club of Whispering Pines on May 21 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 2022 scholarship awardees will be attending the reception to share their experiences and achievements since receiving their scholarships and to present the 2023 scholarship awards to these exemplary recipients.
Tickets for the reception are $50 and support the Sandhills PRIDE Scholarship program, Safe Zone trainings, PRIDE Community CARE partnerships, and advocacy, events, and activities designed to broaden support and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the Sandhills region.
For tickets and information use the link below or email: [email protected]
Scholarship information and tickets: https://sandhillspride.salsalabs.org/2023scholarshipreception
Feature photo: Juice Privitera (left), Kaleigh Barbour and Cheyenne Minor.