Education Fund Launch to raise money for LGBT scholarships

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – The Zebra Coalition is working to ensure LGBT students have the opportunity to access their education needs.

Zebra is launching their Education Fund at The Sanctuary Downtown Feb. 27 to kick off fundraising for the Jefferson R. Voss Education Fund for the Zebra Coalition Youth.

The event, sponsored by John Michael Weddings & Special Events and Savoy Orlando, offers the opportunity to learn about the fund and how to donate.

The event host committee met Jan. 13 to discuss strategies about ideas on who to contact, who to invite and networking ideas to help raise money for the scholarships. The fund is established to provide scholarships to LGBT students at UCF, community colleges, career and technical schools in surrounding counties, and for GED classes and testing.

“I am just overwhelmed with the support that people are giving,” Karen Castelloes, co-chair for the Jefferson R. Voss Education Fund for the Zebra Coalition Youth, said.

The host committee for the event consists of Zebra Coalition Director Dexter Foxworth, Public Relations Information Officer Community Relations and Marketing Orange County Government/Parks and Recreation Mandy Kimmer, Assistant Director for the UCF Nicholson School of Communication Boyd Lindsey, Director of Development Equality Florida Michael Farmer, HRC’s Southern Regional Field Director Joe Saunders, Independent Business Owner Regina Hellinger, Interim Assistant Vice President for Internationalization Angel Cardec, Co-Leader Darden Pride Alliance Employee Resource Group Carole Conroy, Ron Johnson, Andrew Hellinger, Keith Morrison, Elliott Barber, Eva Krzewinski, Mark Wright, David Baldree and Brandon Llewellyn.

The committee’s UCF representative has begun creating a mentoring group that will be available to the Zebra Coalition Youth so that in addition to scholarship funds, they get the support they need all the way throughout their schooling.

“The impact it is going to make to youth in Central Florida is going to be phenomenal,” Castelloes said. “We just feel that this is going to open doors and follow through with dreams to become a reality for these young people, and we are all just so excited for this opportunity.”

The host committee hopes to raise $25,000 Feb. 27. Their next event will be awarding the scholarships in August.

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