The King-Bremond Scholarship
In The Meantime is proud to present the
DEZIRE GREGORY- HIGHSHAW
In today’s society, it can be hard to be a successful LGBT/same-gender-loving youth in America. Whether it’s because of people’s beliefs, how society views LGBT youth, or simply because you are an LGBT youth. Often times in America, there is either that one person or that one group of LGBT youth that fights for what they believe in and stands against society, which I believe is what leads them to become successful LGBT youth in America. As someone who isn’t actually an LGBT youth, but who is being raised by two gay black males in America, I have grown to see and understand their everyday experiences. I believe that it is best to use one of my parents’ stories in order to portray a successful LGBT, although he is no longer a teenager.
My father, Carl Highshaw, is in my eyes the perfect example of a successful LGBT. When he was growing up, he didn’t let anything get in his way in achieving his goals for his career and life. He attended every single year of school, graduated high school, and even attended college and earned a Master’s degree in social work. Eventually, he decided to broaden his career. He went back to school to earn his certification, then started his own non-profit organization called The AMAAD Institute, which stands for Arming Minorities Against Addiction & Disease. He worked hard and used his education to help others improve their lives. To me, that is the meaning of success.
Seeing my dad’s experience has definitely influenced my career choice. I aspire to be a psychologist so, like my dad, I can help people understand themselves, enable them to see that they are just normal people that society has misunderstood, and provide them with support and encouragement to succeed.
Being a successful Black LBGTQ member in America is not an easy task. To me, being a successful Black LBGTQ member first means to embrace not only yourself but also to embrace others, and to encourage other members to continue on the path they envision for themselves, whether by example or by words of support in their time of need. We all will face some form of discrimination, either for our sexual orientation or our skin color; it’s important to be able to look at someone who is similar to you and see that it is possible to be successful in America, or receive words of encouragement from someone who can understand what you are going through. I personally did not have any form of support from any Black LBGTQ members, which has motivated me to further my education in the hopes of being someone’s source of encouragement and strength.
Another important aspect of being a successful Black LBGTQ member is to not let one specific part of you define your whole being, whether it is your sexuality or gender. What I mean by this is, be great at whatever you do to the point that your sexuality or skin color is the last thing that matters to others because your passion and skill outweigh anything negative they might say. I’ve been in situations where I felt my work was critiqued harder than others’ once my sexual orientation came into play. In my work in sports medicine from high school up until now, a lot of the athletes would often try to avoid being taped by me or complain that my taping caused them discomfort. After my first two years, I began putting 110 percent into my work. I studied daily, and practiced taping each day. I eventually became great at it, and those who once tried to avoid my assistance were forced to put up with a gay man taping their pulled muscles because I was passionate and one of the best in my class.
I acknowledge that my sense of success maybe different from the typical definition of success — money, cars, etc. I feel that success is something that starts inward and then projects outward to the community for others to see and feel. It is not measured in materialistic gains, but in the wealth of one’s will and character.
As an artist I’ve had the privilege of working in the field of HIV education. As an HIV Test Counselor I’ve tested and counseled more than 2,000 individuals. Twenty years of service in the HIV community has presented me with a wealth of knowledge and a greater understanding of what it takes to live with the virus. I’m not interested in judging individuals; instead, I want to hear their stories so I can understand where they are coming from and help them know what to expect or what next steps they can take in life with a positive or negative status.
This work has reignited my interest in behavioral psychology, with a focus in HIV education. There are many gaps in the family structure today. Grandmothers once cared for the children in the absence of the mother; soon it was the aunts, uncles, and close friends who would watch after them. Today there is foster care, a system that has created another set of issues with even greater effects on communities. Children who grow up without proper information become adults with false beliefs. I wish to provide an intervention for those individuals who desire change, especially those living with HIV.
I’m currently enrolled full-time at Santa Monica College and will achieve my AA in Psychology by summer 2016. My plan is to enter the B.S. program at Loyola Marymount University or Cal State Dominguez in fall 2016 to pursue licensure as a clinical social worker. Thank you for providing this scholarship opportunity so that I may achieve my dream of serving others.
The King-Bremond (K-B Scholarship Fund) is awarded to Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth in Los Angeles County.
The King-Bremond Scholarship Program was established to assist deserving Black LGBT students by offering financial assistance to help meet educational expenses.
Scholarship Candidates must be full-time students in good academic standing at an accredited college or university. Graduating high school seniors with written proof of acceptance at an accredited institution of higher learning are also eligible. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. The amount of each award will range from $500.00- $1,000.00. To be considered for this scholarship, the following information must be completed and returned:
□ Essay (included in Application)
□ Recommendation Letters
□ Certified copy of Transcript
□ College Acceptance Letter or Proof of Current Enrollment
Please send all documents to:
In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 29861
Los Angeles, CA 90024-0861