Applications are now open for scholarships for LGBTIQ+ young people through The Pinnacle Foundation.
Many of the young LGBTIQ+ people that The Pinnacle Foundation supports have grown up in environments where they have been rejected because of who they are.
National LGBTI Health Alliance research shows that LGBTIQ+ young adults are still 5–11 times more likely to attempt self-harm or experience psychological distress directly related to experiences of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, bullying, or abuse.
“We know that gaining an education can significantly change life for the better,” said Andrew Staite, CEO and MD of The Pinnacle Foundation.
“Education increases our options; it enriches us and empowers us – it helps us to expand our life choices.”
The Pinnacle Foundation awards multi-year scholarships nationally to students aged between 18 and 26 for full-time study at public higher education institutions in Australia to achieve educational or vocational qualifications in any profession, trade, or the arts.
The scholarships include mentoring and opportunities to create a more diverse and inclusive society with visible LGBTIQ+ role models.
“The mentor acts as a role model,” said Staite.
“They will have trod the scholar’s path – and provide the encouragement, counsel, and inspiration to support the scholar’s rounded development and successful completion of their studies.”
Almost all Pinnacle scholars – 98% – have said they feel academically supported and would recommend the program.
The mentor relationship has been rated as beneficial or extremely beneficial by 89% of scholars, and 95% have successfully completed their courses and moved into careers that are aligned to their studies.
In 2020, despite the impacts of COVID-19, every funded Pinnacle scholar successfully completed their studies for the year.
Applications for the 2022 round of Pinnacle scholarships are now open until 15 September.
Young First Nations LGBTIQ+ people and those from regional towns are particularly encouraged to apply.