Yip Harburg Lyric Foundation Student Scholarship

FFRF, with the financial backing of the individual donors, has collaborated with the Secular Student Alliance to select, announce and distribute these student awards. (As per SSA policy to help protect the students’ identities, only the students’ first names are used.)

CourtneyAfter Courtney graduates Smithfield-Selma High School, she plans to pursue an arts degree from a university to become a gallery artist. In comparing religion and God to Santa, the Easter Bunny and other implausible characters, Courtney realized in elementary school that she was an agnostic atheist. Growing up in a small religious town and being non-Christian, she felt personally targeted by many in her community. She says, “I believe that my secularism has influenced my life by allowing me more freedom and a more open worldview.”

Courtney expresses her secular activism through art, highlighting the importance of the separation of church and state. Her most recent art piece, “June 24,” highlights the terror of living in a post-Roe v. Wade America in which women’s rights can be dictated by a majority religion. She has completed five public murals, including one at a middle school and two murals in the town of Selma, N.C., highlighting the racial diversity of that town. Courtney founded and currently runs a youth arts program, Youth In Art Initiative, advocating for the inclusion of youth in the arts. She is currently organizing a youth arts exhibition for ages 13-21 titled “Pieces of Us: An Exhibition Celebrating the Diversity of American Identity.”

FFRF thanks the Yip Harburg Lyric Foundation for this scholarship.

Freedom From Religion Foundation