FFRF has awarded $19,500 in First in the Family Humanist Forward Freethought scholarships to six students. The students were selected by Black Skeptics Los Angeles (BSLA), an African American humanist-atheist community-based organization.
BSLA is the first secular humanist atheist organization to specifically address college pipelining for youth of color through its ongoing scholarship, college and K-12 youth leadership partnerships. FFRF has proudly partnered with BSLA for nine years to provide tuition grants, gradually increasing the funding and number of scholarships. The BSLA review committee is Imani Moses, Darrin Johnson, Deana Williams and Sikivu Hutchinson.
Here are the 2022 First in the Family Forward Freethought scholarship winners, underwritten by FFRF, thanks to the generosity of FFRF benefactor Lance Bredvold, conducted in partnership with Black Skeptics Los Angeles, which chooses the recipients. The first three are this year’s first-year college student awardees and the second three are now sophomores after receiving the scholarship last year.
Behanka Adonis, University of Massachusetts-Amherst ($5,000)
Ashton Hall, North Carolina A&T State University ($5,000)
Luz Santos, University of California-Davis ($5,000)
Stephanie Avitia, UC-Berkeley ($1,500)
Kaylin Nelson, University of Central Florida ($1,500)
Belen Padilla, Scripps College ($1,500)
“As secular youth, we are often seen as rebels or deviants by our families,” says Nelson. “When I struggled with mental health issues in the past, I was often told to just pray. With the help of this scholarship, I want to provide mental health services that rely on methods other than religion and fear.”