Live Out Loud has announced the five extraordinary college-bound teens selected for this year’s Live Out Loud Youth Scholarship at the 13th Annual Young Trailblazers Gala in New York City tonight. Justin Kilian, Yuneris Acosta, Darrel Persuad, Michael Sakelos, and William Rossi have been recognized as students who have already made a significant contribution to society and will each receive at $5,000 scholarship to use towards their college education. The Young Trailblazers Annual Gala is an annual celebration of the continuing revolutionary role of LGBT leaders in business, arts, politics, religion and culture.
Michael Sakelos, from Bayside, NY, is a student at Frank Sinatra School Of The Arts. He’s an active participant in student government and the school leadership team. Sakelos is a peer leader of the Gay Straight Alliance (LGBT) Club, the Relationship Abuse Prevention Program, and an elected member of the BSAC (Borough Student Advisory Council).
Justin Kilian hails from Hartford, CT and is currently a senior at William H. Hall High School where served as president of school GSA for four years as well as the co-head of Action!, a social justice club. Kilian provides workshops on trans issues and serves on his school’s Safe Space and Safe School Climate Committee. He is the recipient of the National Conference for Community and Justice award.
William Rossi is currently finishing his studies at Lindenhurst Senior High School and has been working to amend the district’s nondiscrimination policy to protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals. Rossi is a leader in the school G.S.A., Student Council and Interact Club in college, and wants to study fashion merchandising to become a global fashion leader.
Bronx native Yuneris Acosta attends The Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science and serves as the captain of her high school wrestling team. Acosta is also part of the Beat the Streets/ New York State travel team which travels to national wrestling competitions together during the spring and the summer.
Darrel Persaud, a student at the Saint Raymond High School for Boys in the Bronx is a currently interning at BOOM Health! (Beyond Our Original Mission), a merger of equals between Bronx AIDS Services and CitiWide Harm Reduction where he informs other young men about HIV/STD prevention as well as health leadership among other peer educators to help further educate NYC’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth about safe sex. He is also part of youth committee called Youth Channel which is part of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, an alternative to mass media encouraging young people to think proactively and constructively about issues affecting their lives.
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