Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Madison student receives national PFLAG scholarship

Dena Wessel, a student at West High School and an honoree at last Saturday's Gay-Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE) banquet, has received a scholarship from the national organization of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). She helped start the Cherokee Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance when she was a student there and is Youth Artistic Director of Proud Theater, which has its annual production this Thursday through Saturday at the Frederic March Play Circle, UW-Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St.

PFLAG Announces 2009 Scholarship Winners

Recipients Include LGBT Students and Allies Who Have Made Significant Contributions to Equality in their Schools and Communities

WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) announced today that it has awarded 16 scholarships. More than $30,000 will go to students across the country who have made significant contributions to equality in their schools and communities. This marks the sixth year that PFLAG has awarded the scholarships, which are funded by the Palmer B. Carson Trust and other private donors, including the Gay, Lesbian and Allies at Dow (GLAD) Employee Network, the Esera Tuaolo Scholarship fund, and the New York Gay Football League.

"Now, more than ever, PFLAG is extremely proud to honor these future community leaders and to honor their academic achievement, commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) progress, and community service," said Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director of PFLAG. "LGBT students, and their allies, are overcoming unimaginable obstacles to succeed and prosper in their education. This year's awardees have not only fought those obstacles, but have become role models for their communities and fellow students."

Among the recipients of PFLAG's National Scholarship Program awards are:

Dena Wessel -PFLAG National Scholarship

Dena Wessel helped to organize a GSA in her middle school and was an active member of the GSA at her high school. She participated in the GSAFE (Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools) planning committee and is a member of Proud Theater, where she serves as the Youth Artistic Director. Dena plays on her school's Varsity Tennis Team, is a member of Top T.E.N, Teen Education Network, and has worked with her church youth group on various community service projects. A born activist with creative talent, Dena uses all different means to educate. Dena will graduate from Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin.

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