Walking the Talk: Regional Companies Show Up for LGBTQ Students

by GSBA Staff
| Apr 24, 2020
When the Scholarship Fund was founded 30 years ago, it was the generosity of individual donors that provided the funds to support our scholars. Individual donors continue to contribute the majority of the funds raised each year and every donation helps from our Yellow Brick Road donors, who give what they can monthly, to our Presidents Circle donors who have made philanthropy a significant part of their life mission. Added to that, is the support we receive from our corporate partners.

2018 Scholars Dinner - Photo Credit - Mary Grace McKernan (73)In our region, we are blessed with companies that understand the importance of giving back, that embrace diversity and inclusion, and see the impact their donations can make for the next generation. These are companies who don’t just write a check with a rainbow stamp. They show up as volunteers, they hold trainings for our scholars, they provide internships and mentoring, and they truly walk the talk. This is true for the Sounders FC, Holland America Lines, Microsoft, PwC, and so many more. The individuals working for these companies give from their own pockets, they dedicate their time to interview and help select the next scholar cohort, and they are some of the best ambassadors for the Fund around.

With the cancellation of our 30th Anniversary Scholars Dinner, every one of the93089110_10157891229278726_3725045051584151552_n corporate sponsors quickly switched their sponsorship to a direct donation to the Fund, thereby ensuring that we are able to continue to support our scholars. Some have gone even further by increasing their support for students facing extraordinary burdens with the loss of jobs and vital income. Goose Ridge Cellars was excited to support the Dinner for the second year in a row with their amazing wines; but now will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of their Cascadian Outfitters Rosé Bubbles, featuring a rainbow colored Sasquatch on the can, to the Scholarship Fund.

GSBA Diamond Sponsor, Wells Fargo, created a scholarship five years ago, and continues to be one of the Scholarship Funds biggest supporters. This year, the Wells Fargo Scholarship is being awarded to Marlon Do Couto, a multi-year GSBA Scholar who is one of two recipients of a graduate level scholarship. Marlon has been a volunteer at numerous events for GSBA and last year, while he took a gap year between undergrad and grad school, Marlon was one of many past GSBA scholars who interviewed and help choose the newest cohort.

Marlon Do CoutoOriginally from Brazil, Marlon Do Couto has lived in Seattle for seven years. He has a B.A. in Finance from Seattle University and will pursue a Master of Science in Business Analytics at Duke University in North Carolina. Marlon wants to use data analytics to increase diversity within companies and to advocate for social and environmental responsibility. He also wants to use his background in finance and analytics to help LGBTQ immigrants of color who want to launch businesses. By helping these entrepreneurs to access resources and capital, Marlon hopes they will be able to establish and grow their companies, creating thriving and diverse business communities across the country.

At EQUALUX 2019, the largest donation received was from Symetra. With a focus on students from the most underserved communities. the Symetra Empowers Scholarship will fund three scholars each year for the next five years. It is the largest corporate grant that Symetra has awarded and the largest corporate gift to the Scholarship Fund in our history.

In a time of great economic uncertainty, it takes the entire community to sustain the work of investing in the next generation of leaders. The need for compassionate, innovative and dedicated leaders has never been more evident than it is now. We thank every single one of our donors and our corporate partners for making the difference!

We hope that you will join us at the Virtual Scholars Celebration on May 27 from 6:00-7:00 PM to meet all of the named scholars and the entire 60-student cohort. The 30th Anniversary Scholars Dinner may be cancelled, but the celebration goes on. 

Recent Posts