Palm Beach County Human Rights Council has announced the winners of the 2021 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Scholarship.
Each of the recipients will receive a $2,500 scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to college-bound graduating seniors that have shown an interest in advocacy in the LGBT community.
"Despite the logistical disruptions students endured during the 2020-2021 school year, Sol Lima, Ekko Greenbaum, and Vanessa Whittle have worked as passionate advocates for the local LGBTQ community," said Jasmine Lewis, chair of the Scholarship committee. "The Foundation is proud to recognize their work by presenting them with the 2021 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards."
PBCHRC is Florida's oldest, independent, non-partisan, political organization that is committed to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
The Social Justice Awards pays homage to local attorney Daniel S. Hall, he has mentored several LGBT students, successfully manages a financial counseling company, a devoted father of three, and is PBCHRC’s longest-serving board member.
"This scholarship will allow me to attain the education needed to move forward in life, especially with difficulties faced as someone in the LGBTQ+ community and on the autism spectrum," Lima said. "With a strong education, I know the world will be far more accessible — and nearly anything will be achievable."
Lima is a senior at Jupiter Community High School, they are the president of the Gender & Sexuality Alliance and the Future Farmers of America. They organized a 150-page slideshow on the LGBT in schools. Lima is also an active member of the Compass Youth Groups as well as being an inactive member at the Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches, which is the first openly LGBT Christian denomination. They plan to attend Palm Beach State College to study biology. Lima plans to study animals and wants to become a biologist.
Lake Worth resident Greenbaum is another recipient of the 2,500. Greenbaum is a recent graduate and dance major from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. As a dedicated artist, Greenbaum has been chosen to dance an array of repertoire from George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco to Paul Taylor’s Esplanade while being at Dreyfoos. In addition to dancing, Greenbaum is the historian for the National Dance Honor Society. In the fall, she will be attending her dream school, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, as a merit scholar and contemporary dance major. She will also continue to advocate for the representation of LGBT artists and dancers, who are often hidden and kept out of the spotlight.
“Within my career, I hope to make both classical and contemporary dance a safe space for every human who has a passion, a place where diversity is honored — no matter color, size, sexual orientation," Greenbaum said. "This scholarship will help me attend Boston Conservatory, where I will learn about dance through a sociological perspective, allowing me to help reform the dance world and make it a more welcoming art form.”
West Palm Beach resident Whittle will be graduating from Royal Palm Beach High School. White actively served as Vice President of the Speech and Debate Team, in addition to being co-president of the Thespian Society. Both of the organizations are very passionate about spreading the message about the issues that the LGBT experience. Whittle has competed in local, state, and national tournaments in both organizations that highlight the issue of violence both against and within the LGBT community. This summer, Whittle will study political science at the University of Florida.
“I will use the money awarded from this scholarship to help ease the financial burden of tuition, competition, and travel expenses during college so that I can continue to explore what I am most passionate about — helping others,” Whittle said.
Created in 2015, the Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Awards are administered by PBCHRC Board Member Jasmin K. Lewis, Chair of the PBCHRC Charitable Foundation's scholarship program. To find out more information on the recipients visit http://www.pbchrc.org/.