(619) 505-7777

Stars Rise as PFLAG & SDHDF launch 2016 scholarship awards with song

On behalf of the PFLAG San Diego County (PFLAG SDC) and San Diego Human Dignity Foundation (SDHDF) we are pleased to announce the opening of the 2016 PFLAG Scholarships application period on December 12, 2015. Coinciding with the launch, Don Johnson of Dame Ethel Productions (DEP) will be producing two benefit concerts at T-Lounge on December 12 and 13, the first fundraisers to support our 2016 students.

Please plan to join us for one of these concerts, featuring young musicians 6 years old and up! It’s a great way to usher in the holiday spirit, while helping LGBTQ youth overcome barriers to education, and tickets may be purchased at http://bit.ly/21tTBN7.

PFLAG SDC’s rich history of providing this scholarship support began in 1998, since which they have awarded over $125,000 to deserving LGBT scholars. The portfolio of scholarship awards overseen by the PFLAG Scholarship Committee continues to increase, including scholarships funded through former and current PFLAG members, the Rob Benzon Foundation, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, the family of Stephen G. Bowersox and the Raytheon LGBT STEM Scholarship, among others.

The scholarships are awarded to LGBT high school seniors continuing on to higher education or full-time undergraduate and graduate students through a competitive application and essay process. The scholarship committee selects recipients based on a written essay, commitment to their chosen field, financial need and academic achievement.

SDHDF was thrilled to join PFLAG in 2014 as a partner in raising both awareness and funding for the PFLAG Scholarship Fund, which is now maintained at the Foundation. As college expenses increase, we intend to work together to sustain and grow the fund, and to keep up with the continuing education needs of our LGBTQ youth.

We were pleased to honor our ten 2015 scholarship recipients at the inaugural Launching Leaders Awards Reception on May 15, 2015 and are thrilled to announce that 2016’s event will take be held on Friday, May 13, 2016.

"The scholarships awarded by PFLAG recognize the best and brightest students in our San Diego LGBTQ community”, said Scholarship Chair, Hillary Flocke. “We are proud to support these young leaders and are so grateful to Don Johnson of Dame Ethel Productions for donating the concert proceeds to the scholarship fund. These scholarships not only make higher education more affordable, but also remind LGBTQ students that their aspirations are important and commended."

Even in 2015, studies show that LGBT students are at twice the risk for not completing high-school or continuing their education when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Through efforts like this, we encourage LGBT leaders of the future to claim their place in colleges and universities across the country. PFLAG SDC is very proud to point to City Councilmember Todd Gloria, one of the earliest scholarship recipients, as an example of the program's success.

More about PFLAG San Diego County:

Mission statement: By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through: Support for families, allies and people who are LGBTQ; Education for ourselves and others about the unique issues and challenges facing people who are LGBTQ; Advocacy in our communities to change attitudes and create policies and laws that achieve full equality for people who are LGBTQ. Vision statement: PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. At PFLAG meetings and events, participants find a confidential, warm and supportive setting where they can share their concerns with others and find comfort and reassurance about our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gender fluid, family members, friends and ourselves. For more information, visit www.pflag.com.

More about SDHDF:

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is proud to support over 35 organizations in San Diego County that work in the LGBT and HIV communities. It is our mission to continue to support organizations through our various fundraisers, grant cycles, and initiatives to better the city we live in and love.

Organizations that are currently being supported by SDHDF include but are not limited to the San Diego Diplomacy Council, PFLAG of San Diego County, San Ysidro Health Center, Mama’s Kitchen, Christie’s Place, San Diego LGBT Pride, North County LGBTQ Resource Center, Operation Samahan, Y.E.S. San Diego, San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literacy Foundation, Townspeople, Being Alive, and the Palomar College LGBTQ Pride Center. For more information, go to www.sdhdf.org.

More about Private Stock Entertainment/Dame Ethel Productions:

Private Stock Entertainment was established by Don Johnson in Washington, DC in 1995 as an LLC to book, manage and produce talent and events. The stable of artists includes vocalists, musicians, actors, comedians and spoken word artists. Over the past 20 years, PSE has discovered and produced several hundred shows, including Top Tier Artists such as Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Vesta, Patti LaBelle, Fantasia, Ledisi, Jennifer Holliday, Nelly, R. Kelly, Tony Terry, Rahsaan Patterson, Spur of the Moment and numerous others.

In 2010, Dame Ethel Productions, named for Johnson’s late mother, was created as a subsidiary of PSE, to focus strictly on show production. In 2015, DEP’s mission became more focused: solely

producing events for non-profit organizations. Clients include: Avon Foundation for Women, Autism Society San Diego, Father Joe's Villages, Villages, Second Chance Program, PFLAG of San Diego County, San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, D.E.T.O.U.R. and Neighborhood House. Through these efforts, it is hoped that DEP will become a major contender -if not the top show producer- in the SD region, California and perhaps nationally/worldwide.