FFRF awards $25,000 to Forward Freethought scholarship winners

The Freedom From Religion Foundation announces that it has awarded its 2023 First in the Family Forward Freethought scholarships to six students, totaling $25,000, thanks to FFRF benefactor Lance Bredvold.

The students were selected by Black Skeptics Los Angeles (BSLA), an African American humanist-atheist organization. It is the first secular group 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 Black Skeptics for 10 years to provide tuition grants, gradually increasing the funding and number of scholarships. The Black Skeptics Los Angeles review committee is Imani Moses, Darrin Johnson, Deana Williams and Sikivu Hutchinson.

The following are the 2023 First in the Family Forward Freethought scholarship winners. (The first four are this year’s first-year college student awardees and the last two are multiyear winners.)

• Amir Asadi, University of California–Santa Cruz, $5,000.
• Neveah Brown, University of Illinois, $5,000.
• Nathan Concepcion, Texas A&M, $5,000.
• Janaye Silva, Emerson College, $5,000.
• Kaylin Nelson, University of Central Florida, $2,500.
• Belen Padilla, Scripps College, $2,500.

FFRF member Lance Bredvold, who is not wealthy but is very generous, suggested the Forward Freethought College Fund, a needs-based tuition scholarship, and has contributed the bulk of the $170,000-plus received to date. Since 2018, $78,000 has been disbursed to help freethinking students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.

Those who would like to donate toward the Forward Freethought Fund, a needs-based scholarship dedicated to helping freethinking students who might otherwise be unable to attend college, may designate “tuition scholarships” in the ffrf.org/donate dropdown or earmark checks for “Forward Freethought Fund” or “tuition scholarships.” All donations to FFRF remain deductible for income-tax purposes.

“We have a worthy initiative benefiting freethinking youth from disadvantaged backgrounds,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “These students are the future of our secular movement. Any and all support the fund gets from our members and others, following in the footsteps of Lance Bredvold, would be much appreciated.”

More detailed bios and short essays by the winning students will appear in the upcoming October issue of Freethought Today, FFRF’s lively 24-page (almost) monthly newspaper.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with over 40,000 members across the country. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

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