Billy Porter, the Tony-winning star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots introduced the winners of the 2014 Live Out Loud Youth Scholarship Program at The TimesCenter last night. Yuneris Acosta, Justin Kilian, Darrel Persaud, William Rossi and Michael Sakelos were recognized and given $5,000 scholarships before an audience of celebrities, philanthropists, activists, and friends. Each student addressed the audience and shared a bit about themselves and how they are playing their part in making strides within the LGBT Community. Their accomplishments range from Rossi working to amend nondiscrimination policies to Persaud working in HIV/STD prevention to Acosta serving as the men and women’s wrestling team captain for her school. Emmy Award-winning actress Tyne Daly joined actors Frederick Weller and Bobby Steggert to present playwright Terrence McNally with this year’s Legend Award. InStyle editor Ariel Foxman’s inspiring parents introduced their son and presented him with the Founder’s Award, and Jaclyn Scotto Edge and William Eichert received the first annual Educator of the Year Award. Leo Preziosi, Jr., the Founder and Executive Director of Live Out Loud concluded the presentation with hopeful and encouraging remarks about the present and upcoming programs for the organization.
Live Out Loud helps inspire LGBTQ youth to build successful futures by connecting them to positive role models and affirmative experiences in the community.
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Photography by Jeffrey James Keyes