We are proud to present Nicholas Rinehart as the first ever recipient of the annual Chris Armstrong scholarship. The scholarship was founded to support LGBTQ student advocates and activists at the University of Michigan.
In Nick's own words: "Some people go their entire lives without saying just two simple words. It's too hard for many to say the phrase that will force them into one of the most discriminated against groups in modern society. However, I'm not afraid to say those words: I'm gay. Indeed, I take tremendous pride in calling myself a part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Since coming out, I have found myself as an active leader in the fight for LGBT equality and acceptance."
Nicholas hails to us from Rochester, Michigan. He has not yet decided on a major but there is plenty of time for that. He truly has shown tremendous leadership in the advocacy of queer issues. He founded the Spectrum Club, a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at his high school. While researching for the Spectrum Club, he found that LGBT-related pages were being blocked because of the "society and culture" of the sites. He worked with the ACLU to take down those restrictions.
He was also a founding member of the GSA Alliance of Southeast Michigan (GSAASEM)--a group that works to organize the efforts of GSA's in Metro Detroit. He helped organize an LGBT youth leadership summit with GSAASEM, and has also worked with the Jump-Start Team (the youth division of GLSEN) to create and present an anti-bullying curriculum to middle schools in the Detroit area.
Finally, Nicholas is also currently collecting coming out and bullying stories that will be compiled and published into a book sometime in the future.
Congratulations Nicholas and we look forward to connecting with you in person in Fall, 2012.
Spectrum Center Staff