Rainbow Chamber Honors 2017-18 Scholars

Rainbow Chamber Honors 2017-18 Scholars

The Rainbow Chamber Foundation awarded nine $1,000 scholarships for the 2017-18 school year to the following students: Marshall Dankbar, Junior, Sac State; Augistine Garcia, SCOE; Nyree Hall, 2nd year Master’s student, Sac State; Jaela Harding, Freshman, University of Southern California; Travis Legault, Junior, Sac State; Kenneth McBride, Sophomore, UC Merced; Reina Miller, 2nd year, Lincoln Law School; Heidi Nguyen, Freshman, UC Davis; and Vanessa Vallarta, Sierra College. The scholarships were awarded as part of the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 15th Anniversary Crystal Gala, held Sept. 14 at Dante Club.

“Every year, we are inspired and uplifted by the stories of our amazing scholars, the challenges they have overcome, and their determination to succeed,” said Foundation Chair Diana DePaola. “By helping these outstanding young people get their start, the Chamber is planting seeds for the future of our community.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Marshall DankbarMarshall Dankbar is channeling his passion for all things technological into a pursuit for a Computer Science degree at Sac State. “The LGBT community in Sacramento has also been there for me when I needed them for support when I was younger,” he writes. “I came out when I was 13, and I didn’t know any other peers in my situation. I visited the Lambda Center [now Sacramento LGBT Community Center] in midtown Sacramento, where I was able to meet other teenagers who were part of the community, and this helped me greatly in terms of my identity. Since then, I have always been proud to be gay and to be a part of the LGBT community.

“One day after I’ve completed my degree, I would love to contribute back to the community by helping LGBT youth and the community with what I have learned during my studies, so hopefully I can make the same difference in other people’s lives.”

Augistine Garcia is a 4th grade teacher in San Juan Unified School District, and, with his partner, father to four adopted children. The scholarship will help him obtain an administrative credential from the Rainbow Chamber Scholar Augistine GarciaSacramento County of Education and a master’s degree in Education from National University. With the additional accreditation, Garcia hopes to become an elementary school principal, “to create a safe environment, welcoming and open campus for all students.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Nyree Hall 2017Nyree Hall, who is seeking a master’s degree in Sociology at Sac State, is the first in her family to attend a university. After struggling for years to feel accepted, she came out to family, friends and campus community when she ran for student body president. “I decided that the best way for me to make a contribution to social justice is to educate others…,” she writes. “With my degree, I hope to educate students in higher education about the importance of diversity, inclusivity, feminism, the LGBTQ community, and about positive representation.”

Jaela Harding has been an exceptional scholar all her life, beginning high school at just 12 years old, graduating high school with a 4.38 cumulative GPA, now majoring in biochemistry at USC. Rainbow Chamber Scholar Jaela Harding 2017At her conservative, Catholic high school, she bonded with other LGBTQ students and challenged the logic of homophobic church teachings. “By standing up for myself and my LGBT+ community, I have made small, yet significant changes,” she writes.

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Travis Legault 2017Travis Legault, a third-year government major at Sac State, has been interested in public service since high school and plans a career in legislative advocacy and campaign consulting. He is active in the College Democrats, Sacramento County Young Democrats, Stonewall Democratic Club of Sacramento Valley, and California College Democrats and is serving an internship in the office of Sacramento Councilmember Eric Guerra. He is interested in higher education policy and getting LGBT candidates elected to office. “No matter what, I will always take time to put my skills to use for this community that I am so proud to be a part of,” he writes.

Currently majoring in Business Management and Economics, Kenneth McBride plans to seek an MBA and is passionate about community service. At UC Merced, where 7 percent of the student population is African American, he serves on the executive board of the Black Student Union, is a member of Afrikans for Outreach and Development Program and the Baseball Club. He was named “Most Outstanding Freshman” in 2016-17. “I’m not on campus just to focus on grades,” he writes. “I really try to be that positive role model for other students around me.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Reina Miller 2017Reina Miller graduated from Sac State with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, earning dean’s honors and becoming first in her family to earn a college degree, all while holding down two jobs. She currently volunteers for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) as an advocate for foster youth. At Lincoln Law School, she serves as vice president of the newly formed Lambda Law Student Association and on the boards of LLSA (Latina/Latino Law Student Association), WJS (Women’s Justice Society), and APALSA (Asian Pacific American Law Student Association).

Heidi Nguyen holds a degree in business marketing and works at AT&T. She says she was inspired to seek her MBA in Organizational Behavior by friends and mentors in the LGBT Rainbow Chamber Scholar Heidi Nguyen 2017community. Through the AT&T Aspire Mentorship program and its partnership with Boys & Girls Club, she discovered a passion for helping at-risk youth. “I have not stopped my support the LGBT community, because the introduction into this community has been made me a better person,” she writes. “My desire to make the world a more inclusive place for everyone has pushed me to pursue my education.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholar Vanessa Vallarta 2017Vanessa Vallarta is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, with a major in exercise science. Originally from Philippines, she emigrated to the United States with her family six years ago and is the first in her family to attend college. Growing up with a gay cousin, she became aware of the bullying and discrimination he experienced. “I promised him that he will never feel alone, because I will always be there for him and support him for everything that he chooses to do…,” she writes. “We all need someone to lean on, and I can be someone’s shoulder to lean on. I stand with the LGBTQ+ community.”

Rainbow Chamber Scholars are selected via a competitive application process, including a written essay. Because the program’s mission is to support local students, applicants must reside in or plan to attend a university, college, or school in the counties of Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sierra, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo, or Yuba. Applicants must be enrolled or planning to enroll in senior year of high school or in a university, college, or qualified vocational school and must have a minimum 2.9 cumulative GPA to qualify.

Since 2008 the Rainbow Chamber Foundation has contributed almost $50,000 to fund college and vocational education scholarships for LGBTQ and LGBT-supportive youth. The organization also provides funding support and sponsorships for youth service organizations including the Sacramento Gay & Lesbian Center, National Suicide Prevention Program Trevor Project, GSA Network, Transgender Law Center and Gender Health Center.

The Rainbow Chamber Foundation was established by the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce as a separate, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2007, with the mission to promote mentoring, guidance, and education, and to support programs that improve quality of life for the LGBTQ community. The scholarship program is designed to motivate and assist LGBTQ and supportive students in pursuing educational degrees or vocational certificates. Applications for 2018-19 scholarship awards open March 1, 2018, and close June 30, 2018. For more information and the scholarship application form visit https://www.rainbowchamber.com/scholarship-program/.

 

 

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 15th Year Crystal Gala

Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce 15th Year Crystal Gala

Come and enjoy an evening of 1960s nostalgia at our 15th Anniversary Scholarship and Awards Gala, supporting the the Rainbow Chamber Foundation scholarship program.  This annual dinner is our largest event of the year, and will be held Thursday, September 14th, at Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard, beginning with a cocktail reception at 5:30pm. Individual seats and whole tables are available at early bird pricing until July 31st.

Indulge in amazing cuisine by Joy Reinhardt of the Dante Club while being entertained by Master of Ceremonies Rob Stewart of Grammy-winning “Rob On the Road,” KVIE Public Television’s highest-rated locally produced program. Experience an extensive LIVE auction presented by Pacific Auction Company, Steven Godfryd, featuring sports memorabilia, fine art, travel, admission to local attractions and much more!

Installation of the new board members will be performed by Sac State President Robert S. Nelson. The Business Leader of the Year award will be presented by Chamber President Richard Hernandez and 2016 Business Leader of the Year and past-President Michael Sestak.

Disco into the 1970s at our VIP after-party, where you will be swept back to a time when disco balls and Studio 54 were all the rage. Don’t let this evening of excitement and opportunity pass you by!


RSVP for a seat or table
 today!

Thank you to our top sponsors!

Emerald Sponsor SMUD

Crystal Sponsor Wells Fargo

Crystal Sponsor Wells Fargo

Last Week for Scholarship Applications!

Need money for college or post-secondary school? Applications are still being accepted for the 2017-2018 Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholarship Program for LGBTQ & allied youth! Hurry! The application Deadline is days away on June 30th.

APPLY NOW

Scholarship requirements:

  • Open to LGBT and LGBT-supportive scholars
  • Must reside in or plan to attend university, college or qualified vocational school in Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Sierra, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo, or Yuba counties.
  • Must be enrolled in university, college or a qualified vocational school by Fall 2017.
  • Must have a minimum of 2.9 cumulative GPA
  • Must apply by June 30th and be selected by the Scholarship Committee

Rainbow Chamber Foundation VIP Scholarship Dinner

Rainbow Chamber Foundation VIP Scholarship Dinner

Invest in the future of our community! Limited Number of Tickets Available! Rainbow Chamber Foundation VIP Scholarship Dinner is Thursday, May 25, 6-9 pm. This fundraiser will be held at the beautiful new venue at Capital Public Radio. This exclusive event supports scholarships for Sacramento area LGBTQ and allied youth! Tickets $125. Reserve your seat NOW before we sell out!

REGISTER

Rainbow Chamber Awards 10 Scholarships in 2016

Rainbow Chamber Awards 10 Scholarships in 2016

2016 Rainbow Chamber Foundation Scholarship Winners and Presenters

Photo Credit: Monica Neumann Lunardi photo artist

The Rainbow Chamber Foundation, the 501(c)(3) non-profit affiliate of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, recently awarded scholarships to 10 LGBT and LGBT-supportive students from the Sacramento region or attending local educational institutions.

2016 scholarship recipients, their schools and fields of study are:

  • Jill Hagey, University of California, Davis, Animal Biology
  • Andrew Henkin, California State University, Sacramento, Social Work
  • Victoria Tan, University of the Pacific, Music
  • Kimberly Angulo, UC Davis School of Law
  • Kevin Roux, Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, Juris Doctor
  • Jonathan Taylor, Drexel University, Criminal Law
  • Brett Wenck, American River College, Hospitality Management
  • Casey Jordan, American River College, American Sign/Deaf Studies
  • Michael Dransfield, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Digital Arts
  • Monica Vasquez, Makeup Designory, Cosmetology

The scholarship presentations were made at the Chamber’s annual awards dinner Sept. 15 at Dante Club. “We are so proud of our 2016 scholars and grateful for the community support that allowed us to award a record number of scholarships,” said Rainbow Chamber Foundation Chair Diana DePaola. “These young people represent the future of our community, and we are honored to support them on the path to many future achievements.”

Since its founding in 2008, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation has awarded scholarships to 42 LGBT, questioning or allied students. In its first funding year, 2009, the organization awarded only two scholarships; in 2015, with the addition of a SMUD STEM program scholarship and a named scholarship funded by private donors, the Foundation awarded scholarships to seven deserving students. In addition to its scholarship program, the Foundation supports other local organizations that provide assistance to LGBTQI youth, including the Sacramento LGBT Community Center and the Gender Health Center.

For more information about the Rainbow Chamber Foundation or to access the online scholarship application, visit https://www.rainbowchamber.com/about-the-foundation/.

Get Your Tickets Today! Annual Gala September 15 2016

In just a little over a week, the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner–Thursday, Sept. 15, 6 to 9 p.m., at Dante Club–and you don’t want to miss it!

Our keynote speaker, Sacramento Mayor-Elect Darrell Steinberg, will present his vision for Sacramento’s future, as well as swear in your newly elected Chamber Board of Directors. You will be entertained by the dulcet tones of cabaret singer Gayiel Von, accompanied by Jim Jordan on piano. We will announce the recipient of the 2016 Business Leader of the Year Award, with long-time Chamber member and community statesman Dennis Mangers serving as our emcee. As with all Chamber events, it will be a party to be remembered!

In 2008, the Rainbow Chamber Foundation awarded its first two academic scholarships to LGBTQ and allied students, totaling $2,500. We are proud to announce that on September 15 the Foundation will award a total of 10 scholarships, totaling $10,000, each one of which is an investment in the future of our community. Thank you to our generous sponsors and donors and all of you who have attended our annual galas, purchased raffle tickets at our mixers, selected Rainbow Chamber Foundation when you made purchases on Amazon Smile, and bid on auction items over the past nine years–all of you have contributed to the growth and success of our Rainbow Chamber scholarship program; all of you have contributed to the achievements of our deserving scholarship recipients.

This year once again, all proceeds from our live auction, presented by benefit auctioneer Jerry Goldstone, BAS, will support the Rainbow Chamber Foundation and our scholarship program. We can’t wait for the party to start, and we hope to have all of you there with us as we work to make the Sacramento business and LGBTQ communities better for all of us!