The GSBA Scholarship Fund

The GSBA Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to LGBTQ and allied students who exhibit leadership potential, demonstrate strong academic abilities, and are actively involved in school and community organizations. Founded in 1991, the GSBA Scholarship Fund has awarded over 650 scholarships totaling over $3 million.

Mission

To invest in the education of a diverse group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied students who have the capacity and vision to be the next generation of leaders working to create a better world for all.

Vision

Diverse leaders who have the vision, compassion and capability to solve global issues and secure human rights for all.


The GSBA Guarantee

The Guarantee is our commitment to the ongoing funding of our undergraduate scholars. Every scholar who has met certain criteria is eligible for up to four years of undergraduate scholarship funding. This commitment to our scholars’ success and eventual graduation helps support our future leaders in a way that few programs are able to do. We ask our donors to consider also making ongoing commitments to help sustain the continuing support that is so vital to the success of our mission.



GSBA Blog Scholarship Fund Posts

Your Investment at Work: Alessandro Mauro Lou

by Alessandro Mauro Lou
| Jun 29, 2016

My name is Alessandro Mauro Lou. I am a first-year GSBA scholar at Seattle Central College studying mathematics and computer science working on a transfer degree. My deepest desire in life is to heal, and see positive transformation in people.

Lou, AlessandroI am a Seattle native, but grew up in Milan, Italy. I was born to a San Franciscan Chinese father and Milanese Italian mother, both damaged, fraying characters. My father is heavily scarred from the physical abuse of his own father, and the prevalent racism he grew up with in as a Chinese person in San Francisco in the 60’s and 70’s. My mother suffered from depression, alcohol and prescription drug addiction, and an on-and-off heroin habit.

I grew up wanting to help and heal my parents, and it took 18 years to learn that I was not equipped to do so.

At a very young age, I stopped wanting to heal my father after his beatings became too frequent. Being chased around the house and locked in the basement was not something I wanted to normalize or accept.

I never stopped wanting to heal my mother. I fought vigilantly against my father, her boyfriends who beat and raped her, and the alcohol that consumed her. She was my best friend. But I realized I couldn’t heal my mother when I got a glimpse of her failing liver with the yellow in her beautiful brown eyes, and that was when I knew she was dying. I didn’t know how to live without her. I still don’t know how to function without her. But the fact that I could not heal her, that I did not have the tools to do so, is a driving motivation to want to heal and help others.

I came out to my mom in secret when I was 11 years old, and she told me she always wanted a gay son. Little did she know that my older brother would also come out a year later.

I spent the majority of my childhood in Milan. Catholic, image-focused and northern European-centered Milan bred a lot of self-hatred for the fact that I was born into an interracial marriage, for my sexual identity, and personal spirituality. Moving to Seattle and being embraced for my difference has helped heal me. The LGBTQ community, and more specifically the womxn and people of color in the LGBTQ community, has inspired me to help heal others in return.

Currently I work as a barista at Kaladi Brothers Coffee, a coffee house that shares a building with Gay City Health Project, Ingersoll Gender Center and Equal Rights Washington on Capitol Hill. I also work as a tutor at the SAM Learning Center, a space offering assistance in math, chemistry, physic, computer science, engineering and statistics. The Center is a hub for underrepresented and marginalized people of all sorts. I am honored to help facilitate growth, and work with my peers to learn and feel empowered by knowledge.

I am excited to be able to get to focus more on school and have fewer worries about financial burdens thanks to my GSBA scholarship. I will be taking physics and calculus during the fall quarter, and I know that this scholarship will alleviate the anxiety surrounding being an adult student, working a job, and living in expensive Seattle. I hope to be more involved clubs at Seattle Central as well as with the wider LGBTQ community in Seattle.

There is a lot of healing to be found in the teaching and exchange of knowledge. My goal is to more effectively connect the broader LGBTQ community with existing resources and information, such as safe community spaces, HIV prevention and mental health services. I want to break down barriers to access and teach technical skills to marginalized LGBTQ youth to help them rise above adversity in a high-tech economy.

Beyond that, I would also like to study acupuncture and heal through bodywork once I am financially stable enough to afford the privatized and very expensive Eastern Medicine schools in the USA. I would like to specifically offer free services to queer people, people of color, and other people in need.

Thank you for having faith in me, and for supporting me as I work to become a healer for the LGBTQ community in as many ways as I can.

My deepest gratitude,

Alessandro Mauro Lou