SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 28, 2022) — The National AIDS Memorial is honoring the legacy of AIDS educator and activist Pedro Zamora on what would have been his 50th birthday by formally announcing the latest recipients of the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship. Eleven scholars have been selected from ten universities and academic institutions across the country, each receiving $5,000 in financial support for their academic studies.
"Much like Pedro himself, this scholarship supports young students who embody their work within the community and activism in ways inspired by their own passions, insights, originality, and conviction," said National AIDS Memorial CEO John Cunningham. "These students shine an important light on the issues and struggles in their own communities, bringing a sense of optimism, hope and action to make a difference."
Dedicated to continuing the legacy of Zamora, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship supports the academic efforts of young activists working in their communities today. Using the HIV/AIDS activism movement as an example, the scholarship supports those taking up social justice work in its many forms and working at the intersection of these movements with their communities to drive progress.
The 2021-22 scholars include Liggera Edmonds-Allen, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania; Olivia Freidenreich, University of California, Berkeley; Evan Gates, Miami University, Ohio; Treasure Joiner, Tulane University, Louisiana; Espoir Ledieu, W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University; Craig McFarland, Harvard College, Massachusetts; Leo Parrott, University of San Francisco, California; Peter Pham, University of California Berkeley; Aisha Tipnis; Brown University, Rhode Island; Andrea Volcan, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; and, Jashui Zarate Torres, Dominican University, Illinois.
As part of the application process, candidates must demonstrate how they are providing service and/or leadership in efforts to end HIV (or help those living with it), and/or the fight against stigma, denial, and hate, and how their studies, career plans, or public service will contribute to those efforts. This year's recipients are making a difference as young leaders working on issues ranging from HIV/AIDS, transgender activism, and community reinvestment, to marginalization, health access, immigrant rights, and environmental justice. A summary of their biographies can be viewed here.
"This class of scholars is so impressive, all of whom are making a tremendous impact and helping carry Pedro's torch forward for a better future," said Gilead Sciences Senior Vice President, Alex Kalomparis. "We are proud to support this important program that is inspiring the next generation of leaders to continue the fight for health and social justice and end HIV/AIDS."
Gilead Sciences is a major funder of the scholarship program, which has provided $410,000 in financial support to 112 young leaders since its inception in 2009. The National AIDS Memorial was able to expand the program in 2021 to include its largest group of recipients ever and will be creating a fellowship program in 2022 through a grant provided by Gilead.
Interested students can learn more and apply online by visiting www.aidsmemorial.org/scholarships.