Equity Foundation is proud to host some of Oregon’s longest standing scholarships. Our scholarship program is supported by members of the LGBTQ and allied community who are committed to assisting students of all ages fund their education. Our scholarships support students with a variety of interests and backgrounds, such as activists working to advance LGBTQ rights, students majoring in fine arts and humanities, and LGBTQ adults who are have gone back to school.

To be eligible for most (but not all) of our scholarships, students must be:

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or the child of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender parent(s);
  • Students in Oregon and Southwest Washington; in need of financial assistance and able to provide clear financial need statements;
  • Be enrolled or intending to enroll in an accredited educational program beyond the secondary level;
  • Able to provide supporting evidence to prove they are capable of successfully completing a degree program.

Other points to consider:

  • Basic information to have ready for most scholarship applications include: transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of financial need. Personal statements are also required for all applications.
  • Scholarships have been previously awarded to students who have more than six months of experience as activists or who have otherwise demonstrated leadership within the LGBTQ community, have a GPA above 3.0, and have a clear financial need statement.

The deadline for scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year has passed. Please check back for information on applying for the 2017-2018 school year.

Please contact us or 503-231-5759 if you have questions.

The deadline for the 2016-2017 school year has passed for the scholarships listed below. Please check back early next year for information on applying for 2017-2018. 

The Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund

The Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship provides financial assistance to third-year and fourth-year law students who wish to advance equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Bill and Ann Shepherd began a legacy of justice in 1972. In 1976, Bill founded the Portland Town Council Legal Resource Committee, forerunner of the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association (OGALLA). That same year, Ann was appointed to a two-year term on then Gov. Straub’s Task Force on Sexual Preference. In 1977, with Chuck and Rita Knapp, they co-founded Parents of Gays, which later affiliated with the international organization Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, PFLAG.

Until his death in 1995, Bill Shepherd provided low cost legal counsel to same sex couples who wanted to ensure their partners optimal decision making and inheritance rights. Ann Shepherd “mothered” countless gays and lesbians rejected by their families and churches, and worked with confused parents to heal the wounds caused by misinformation and judgmental attitudes. Ann and Bill fought every anti-gay ballot measure and candidate that crossed their path, and in 1985, the Shepherds received the first of many prestigious awards from the community, the Lucille Hart Award from the Right-to-Privacy PAC.

The Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship was founded by the late Jeff Rose, Mr. Portland Leather 1993, and Susie Shepherd, International Ms. Leather 1989. Shepherd Scholars, as befits their namesake, are committed to continue bearing the torch of equal rights.

David M. Crawford Memorial Scholarship

The David M. Crawford Memorial Scholarship at Equity Foundation was created in 2012 by Scott Mason, David’s partner of 30 years. Scott established the scholarship with a gift of $200,000 to honor David’s work in the community, his dedication to LGBT causes and to PSU.  In establishing the fund, Mason said, “David had been an adjunct faculty member at PSU’s School of Business and would be proud to be helping others meet their goals.”

The scholarship is intended for Portland State University students actively involved in advancing LGBT rights.

Davis Wright Tremaine Equity Scholarship

The Davis Wright Tremaine Equity Scholarship is funded by a generous gift from the lawfirm of Davis Wright Tremaine. Davis Wright Tremaine believes in the importance of growing diversity in the legal profession and in the Portland area in particular.  To support that goal, the Portland office of Davis Wright Tremaine is partnering with Equity Foundation to offer one $5,000 scholarship this year to incoming law students.

Gregori Jakovina Endowment Scholarship and Larry McDonald Scholarship

The Gregori Jakovina Endowment Scholarship and the Larry McDonald Scholarship funds were founded in May 2007 by Gregori Jakovina and Larry McDonald to encourage and facilitate post-secondary education in the arts for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

The Gregori Jakovina Endowment Scholarship is for students majoring in the arts who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and/or children of LGBT parents enrolled in post-secondary education. Students shall be residents of Oregon or Clark County, Washington.

The Larry McDonald Scholarship is intended for adults in mid-life who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender who seek to make a significant change in their lives or vocations by majoring in the arts and/or humanities, which includes ancient and modern languages, literature, history, philosophy, religion, fine arts, and visual and performing arts such as music and theatre.

Jessica Dolin Memorial Scholarship

Leigh and Leslie Dolin established the Jessica Dolin Memorial Scholarship in 2013 to honor their daughter Jessica who passed away May 14, 2003.  The scholarship is intended for residents of Oregon or Clark County, WA who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender student or a student actively involved in an LGBT rights organization.

The Jim McBroom and John H. Weston Scholarship Fund

The Jim McBroom and John H. Weston Scholarship was created in 2010 through a bequest from Jim McBroom.  The scholarship is funded by the Jim McBroom and John H. Weston Charitable Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation.  The scholarship is intended for gay and lesbian students in or from Oregon who are attending four year colleges, preferably but not exclusively for those studying fine arts and humanities.

Portland General Electric Scholarship

The Portland General Electric (PGE) Scholarship will offer a two-thousand dollar scholarship to one student who is LGBTQ or is the child of LGBTQ parents, who resides in PGE’s service area, and needs financial assistance to attain their post-secondary educational goals. Preference will be placed on first generation students and students majoring in mathematics, engineering, and related sciences, or business, economics, finance, and other disciplines that align with PGE’s business focus.

The Pride of the Rose Scholarship Fund

The Pride of the Rose Scholarship, founded in 1979 by Rose Emperor 5 Frank Schreckenberger and Rose Empress 21 Allison Grey (Curtis Meyers) of the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court, is administered through Equity Foundation.  Leadership of the Pride of the Rose consists of Frank, Curtis, Dwayne Witzel and Scot Bishop-Walker.  Dwayne and Scot joined the leadership effort in 2004 as a part of the organizations recognition of doing succession planning.  Scholarships are available to members of the LGBT communities and their children who reside in the Portland Quad-County area or Clark County Washington.  Applicants must be pursuing their education beyond the secondary level and must be in demonstrated need of financial assistance to attain their educational goals.

The Pride of the Rose Scholarship celebrated its 35th anniversary in September 2013 with the granting of $20,000 in scholarships to 8 individuals.  With these scholarships awarded, the total given to over 268 individuals during the past 35 years now exceeds $435,000.

Scholarship applications are due July 31st of each year for the upcoming academic year.  The Pride of the Rose Scholarship Committee meets in August of each year to review applications and make scholarship decisions, which are then passed along to the Equity Foundation Board of Directors for formal approval.

ADX Make It! FUNd Scholarship

ADX and Portland Made have teamed up to create the Make it! FUNd, a scholarship fund that provides Portlanders access to ADX classes and workforce training program. Students learn new skills that provide them economic opportunities in the design and manufacturing sectors. ADX workforce training programs offer several options for individuals and student groups looking to enhance their curriculum with a practical, hands-on experience. Students will learn basic problem solving while practicing fabrication skills and using a variety of tools and materials. From digital design and electronics to fabrication and manufacturing, students learn the skills that are needed to get a family wage job.

In addition to Equity’s residency and financial need requirements, applicants must 1) Self-identify as a student that traditional schooling is not working for currently;  2) Currently participate with organizations that serve at risk youth (Impact Northwest, WSI, etc.); 3) Demonstrate a strong desire to explore working in the design, fabrication, and manufacturing sectors. Applicants for this scholarship do not need to identify as LGBTQ to be eligible.

Check back for information on how to apply for the ADX Make It! FUNd Scholarship.

We are not currently accepting applications. Please check back for information on applying for scholarships for the 2017-2018 school year.

For more information on our application process, you can download our 2016 Scholarship Application Guide:


 2016 Scholarship Application Guide

Application Process

When is the application due?

The deadline for scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year has passed. Please check back for information on scholarships for the 2017-2018 school year.

I don’t see the Bill & Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship or the ADX Scholarship. How do I apply for those scholarships?

Those scholarship have a separate application process. The deadline for the Bill & Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year has passed.

We are not yet accepting applications for the ADX Scholarship.

How will I know if you’ve received my application?

You will receive an email or phone call from Equity Foundation confirming that we have received your application.

How many of your scholarships can I apply for?

You can apply for all of the scholarships for which you are eligible.

Can I receive more than one scholarship?

Yes. Separate committees review the applications for each fund and select recipients. There is no limit on the number of scholarships or the amount of scholarship funding you can receive.

If I am selected to receive a scholarship, how much will I be awarded?

The amount varies. The average award for the 2015-2016 school year was about $3,000. The most a single student received was $8,000.

What are my chances of receiving a scholarship?

In 2015, just over half of the individuals who applied received an award.

When will I find out if I’ve received a scholarship?

For scholarships due in June, we will notify winners in August.

Is my application information confidential?

Yes. Only Equity Foundation staff and the committee of reviewers will see your application. All of our staff and reviewers are required to sign confidentiality agreements. Your application materials will only be shared if you indicate on your application form that we have your permission to use your name and application in promoting our scholarship program.

What makes a strong applicant?

Our reviewers select recipients who 1) are in need of financial assistance to complete their program; 2) demonstrate capability to successfully complete a degree program; and 3) demonstrate leadership within the LGBTQ community.

What do you mean by leadership?

Leadership is demonstrated by involvement in an organization or project, positive community impact, and/or future plans to be involved in and advance LGBTQ issues in your chosen career.


What do you mean by residency?

To be a considered a resident, you must have lived within Oregon or SW Washington for at least one year prior to submitting your application. If you’re currently attending school out of state, you are still eligible as long as you lived in Oregon or SW Washington for at least a year immediately prior to your current post-secondary education.

Remember to check the residency requirements for specific scholarships funds.

What kinds of degree programs are eligible?

Any accredited educational program beyond the secondary level, including community college, college, university, technical and vocational school, and art school.

What if I have a GED instead of a high school diploma?

You are eligible to apply if you hold a high school diploma or a GED.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen?

No, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to apply. We do not require a social security number or any other documentation of citizenship.

Can I apply if I want to go to a school outside of Oregon or the United States?

Yes, as long as you meet other eligibility requirements of the scholarship funds, you may attend school outside of Oregon or the United States.

Is there an age requirement?

With the exception of the Larry McDonald Scholarship Fund, there is no age requirement. There is no specific age range for the Larry McDonald Scholarship Fund – the requirement is that you identify as a mid-life adult.

What does it mean if a requirement is preferred?

It indicates that the funder of the scholarship would prefer that recipients meet a certain eligibility criteria, but it is not required. You do not need to meet preferred criteria to be eligible for a scholarship.

If I’ve applied before, can I apply again? What if I’ve received an Equity scholarship in the past?

Yes, you can apply again, even if you have previously received an Equity Foundation scholarship. There are no limitations on how many times or how often you can apply.

Selection and Distribution of Awards

How are scholarship recipients selected?

A scholarship committee composed of members designated by Equity Foundation and/or the founders of the scholarship fund will review the applications and select recipients.

Will I need to interview with the committee?

Interviews are not typically part of our selection process. If the committee deems it necessary, personal individuals can be arranged – though it is rare.

How can my scholarship award be used?

We send your scholarship funding directly to your school and ask your school to apply the funds to your tuition and fees for that school year. We do not send funding directly to award recipients.

How long can I use the scholarship money?

We ask your school to apply the funds for the 2016-2017 school year.

What if I need to delay my schooling or must leave school?

If you delay your schooling or need to leave school, we evaluate on a case by case basis how to proceed with your scholarship funds.

What if I’m not accepted to a school yet or haven’t decided where to attend?

We will hold your scholarship funding until to notify us of your official enrollment in an educational program. If you select a program that does not meet our eligibility requirements or do not end up enrolling for the 2016-2017 school year, you cannot receive funding.

What if I have more questions?

Contact Dani Bernstein, Acting Executive Director, at (503) 231-5759 or danib@equityfoundation.org.