Gay and lesbian scholarship

Markowski-Leach Scholarship

Throughout the years, many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people have left bequests and legacies behind when they passed on, and most of those legacies exist for the purpose of helping other LGBT people to succeed through education. The Markowski-Leach Gay Scholarship is just such a legacy.

The Markowski-Leach Scholarship is named for a gay couple, Tom Markowski and Jim Leach who wanted to leave a legacy behind. The initial funds for the gay scholarship program came from a bequest left by Jim Leach, and at his request, the fund was set up in both of the men’s names. The purpose of the scholarship fund was to assist gays and lesbians in their quest for further education. Both Tom Markowski and Jim Leach died of AIDS, two years apart. The fund was established in 1989, and more than $200,000 has been awarded since that time.

While being gay or lesbian is a requirement to win the award, there is much more to it than that. The bequest stated that the award should be made to gay or lesbian students who would most likely make a substantial contribution to society and improve the image of gay and lesbian people everywhere.

The gay scholarship award is available to any student who meets the qualifications regardless of their chosen field of study, and regardless of proving financial need, however the student must be attending or plan to attend the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, or San Francisco State University. You can be a graduate student or an undergraduate student to qualify for this scholarship for being gay.

Since the bequest made for this scholarship award stated that the award should be made to an gay student who shows promise for making a substantial contribution to society, it is vital that your personal statement include information as to how you plan to make such a contribution, or how you are already working towards that end. This plays a vital role in the selection process. Any past work that you have done to make such a contribution will also be strongly considered, so be sure to include this information.

While the award amount varies from year to year, the average amount of the award is about $1250, but the full amount is not paid at one time. Instead, the award is divided by the number of terms or semesters in the award year. You must be or plan to be a full-time student to quality, and you must continue to have academic excellence in order to remain eligible during the award year. Your GPA must be 2.5 in order to apply, and you must maintain that GPA.

The application deadline for the Markowski-Leach Gay Scholarship occurs around the middle of April each year, but applications are usually available and accepted as early as February. Selections for the winners are made in the early part of May each year.