At the start of May, Palm Beach County Human Rights Council announced the winners of the annual 2022 Daniel S. Hall Social Justice Scholarship.
Each of the well-deserved students will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
“Calvin Brown, Emma Kuthcer, and Tatiana Venero have worked as passionate advocates for the local LGBTQ+ community,” said PBCHRC Board Member and Chair of the Charitable Foundations Scholarship program Jasmine Lewis. “The foundation is proud to recognize their work by presenting them with the 2022 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 is an arousing tribute to local attorney Daniel S. Hall, who has mentored a number of LGBT students, manages a financial counseling company, is a father of three, and is PBCHRC’s longest-serving board member.
“Using my voice for positive impact is something I’ve always been drawn to," said Calvin Brown. "I hope I can push that dream far beyond my high-school education and have an impact on queer youth.”
Brown is a resident of Jupiter and a graduate of Jupiter High School. He has developed useful skills needed to give a voice to help create changes in Jupiter and throughout the entire School District of Palm Beach County. Brown has established a relationship with Compass Community Center as well. He is an Ambassador of the Legacy Project, as well as a participant in the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change Conference.
"Showing LGBTQ+ representation in media and film is important and has shaped my coming out experience," said Calvin. "I hope my work will someday help other queer kids like me."
Tatiana Venero is another scholarship recipient. She is a resident of West Palm Beach County and attends private school at Coastal Middle and High School. While in high school, she actively participated in the Youth Group with Compass Community Center, and she has impressively completed one or more than one hundred hours of community service hours. Venero also has done her part to protest against anti-LGBT bills.
"While I first started at Compass, I was immature, but over the years, I gained confidence and am now a youth leader," Venero said. "As one who can easily relate to other students being misunderstood and having to hide parts of themselves, I now help educate, aid and get them out of their shells."
Tatania also creates personal stories which discuss the trauma and joy of being LGBT and plans to publish the stories as comics, using the visual aspect of the medium to its fullest. Tatania will be attending Palm Beach State College to earn a degree in the arts.
The last student is a resident of Boca Raton. Emma Kutcher studies communications at Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Kutcher has had quite the high school journey. She serves as the president of the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). The school’s GSA organization includes close to 100 members, which means it's one of the largest GSA groups in Palm Beach. Kutcher is also the editor-in-chief of the school’s Marquee Yearbook.
"As a first-generation, low-income student, PBCHRC's assistance with college expenses means the world to me and my family," Emma said. "This scholarship aimed for LGBTQ+ and human rights advocacy also acknowledges a significant aspect of my life in high school, and will continue to be inspirational for the rest of my life."
Kutcher has included coverage providing LGBT and minority students with a voice to tell their stories. She has spent countless hours volunteering and writing content for PRISM, which is a non-profit organization that advocates for all LGBT youth. In the fall, Emma begins her Public Policy studies at Carleton College, where she will continue to work toward achieving social equality.
Applications are generally available in February. During that time information is sent out to local high school counselors in Palm Beach County and also GSA sponsors. Interested students have a deadline of April to complete the application. One of the major prerequisites for the applicant is that they must showcase a passion for high academic achievement and express dedication to social justice in the LGBT community. Altogether, PBCHRC has given a total of 20 scholarships.