PORTLAND & ELLSWORTH – A new scholarship at the Maine Community Foundation will support LGBTQ+ youth and allies in pursuing post-secondary studies. The Parsons Scholarship Fund for Young and Allied LGBTQ+ honors the late Betsy Parsons, a longtime Portland teacher and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Parsons has taught English for 30 years and was one of the first teachers in Maine to openly identify as a lesbian. She helped found the Southern Maine chapter of GLSEN (The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network), which fights to ensure schools and safe spaces for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. She led the way in creating nearly 90 student sex and sexuality clubs statewide, recruiting student leaders and counselors, and providing ongoing support.
Parsons has received numerous awards for her teaching and LGBTQ advocacy. In 2019, she was recognized with legislative sentiment by the state legislature for her leadership in making schools safe for students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We are honored that the Betsy family trusted MaineCF with this scholarship to honor their sister and daughter,” said Liz Feckett, Director of Scholarships and Scholarships. “We are excited to add our first ever LGBTQ+ scholarship to our offering and look forward to this first season of applicants and awards.”
The Parsons Scholarship Fund for Young and Allied LGBTQ+ provides support for graduating LGBTQ+ seniors and their allies (also graduating seniors) at Maine high schools in their pursuit of post-secondary study. This scholarship is inspired by Parsons’ life and work and was established by her family, who strongly support her ideals and share their deepest love and commitment to Maine and its people. Seniors graduating from Maine in high school of any gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic background are encouraged to apply.
To learn more about the scholarship, visit www.mainecf.org or contact Liz Feckett, Director of Scholarships and Scholarships at MaineCF, at email@example.com.
Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional employees in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Rockport, and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with other donors and partners to provide strong investment, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all of the people of Maine. To learn more about the Foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.