supporting the next generation of leaders who carry pedro’s torch for health and social justice.
Who was Pedro Zamora?
When Pedro Zamora began his journey on The Real World San Francisco in 1994, he had already been an active HIV/AIDS advocate and educator. At the age of 17, Pedro learned that he was living with HIV and dedicated his life to raising awareness and educating his peers on what they needed to avoid infection.
At the age of 22, Zamora captivated the nation with his openness, compassion, vitality, and charisma when he appeared on MTV’s The Real World 3: San Francisco in 1994. Pedro spoke openly about his sexuality, status, and activism. Pedro’s work was tragically cut short when he died of an AIDS-related illness in 1994, the morning after the final episode of The Real World aired. Learn more about Pedro's story.
What is the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship?
Dedicated to continuing Pedro’s legacy, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship supports the academic pursuits of young activists working in their communities who carry Pedro’s torch forward. These young activists pursue a bold vision: never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, stigma, or hate.
The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship strives for equity across all lines. From increasing scholarship offerings to HBCU and HSI recipients to expanding visibility for LGBTQ+ students, this scholarship strives to ensure that young activists from all walks of life have the opportunity to carry Pedro’s torch forward and make a difference in their communities.
Who can apply? Do I have to be involved with AIDS activism?
This Scholarship celebrates and supports young people who are doing work inspired by (or similar to) Pedro’s health and social justice activism. This work is not exclusive to HIV/AIDS! If your work is change making in other areas of social justice and health justice, this scholarship is probably for you!
The scholarship is open to current or incoming undergraduate students (ages 27 and younger) enrolled in a U.S. community college or four-year university. Since 2009, more than $600,000 has been provided in financial support to 154 scholars through the generous support from Gilead Sciences and other partners.
AVAILABLE TO SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS: AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT CAMPUS DISPLAY PROGRAM
For all recipients of the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship, the National AIDS Memorial offers a free and optional AIDS Memorial Quilt Campus Display Program. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is already being displayed on various college campuses, including those attended by Pedro Zamora Scholarship recipients and other targeted campuses (e.g., HBCUs and HSIs). Through the creation of our 'Quilt Campus Display Turnkey Package', students can easily request to have a block of the Quilt (includes six Quilt panels) delivered and set up at their campus. Through this program, we intend to ensure that the AIDS Memorial Quilt reaches more institutions of higher learning each year around the country. These campus Quilt displays will increase our Scholarship recipients' connections to our programs while raising awareness of the history of HIV/AIDS, and the AIDS Movement, among other young students.
Congratulations to our 2023-2024 Recipients!
When the National AIDS Memorial launched the program in 2009, its focus was on selecting scholars who were pursuing careers and community work around HIV/AIDS. Fifteen years later, the program has evolved to support young students who are actively engaged in health and social justice issues beyond HIV/AIDS activism and research.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- LGBTQ+ equality and rights
- Racial and social justice
- Health and health justice
- Reproductive health
- Immigrant rights
- Environmental Justice
- Drug policy and drug sentencing reform
- Employment and economic justice issues
- Housing and homelessness
Our 2023-2024 recipients address health and social justice issues through a variety of avenues. From large public universities to HBCUs and HSIs, our scholars are pursuing degrees across the United States. Coming from many different walks of life, each of their unique life experiences have shaped their purposes and ambitions to make a difference. Meet Our 2023-2024 Scholars.
SEE OUR NEW VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PEDRO SCHOLARHIP
Beginning March 1, 2024, interested scholars will be able to apply directly through an online application accessible on this website. In the meantime, we hope you will watch our new video about the program. You can also learn more by viewing some of our available resources: Program Fact Sheet, Application Requirements, and Frequently Asked Questions.
Candidates must demonstrate how they are providing service and/or leadership in efforts to end HIV (or help those living with it), and/or are fighting against stigma, denial, racism, and hate - and how their studies, career plans or public service will contribute to advancing social justice.
SEE OUR SCHOLARS IN ACTION! watch this powerful conversation with dr. anthony fauci
For World AIDS Day 2021, some of our Pedro scholars were able to participate in a conversation about their work as future scientists, policy makers, activists, health and social justice advocates can make a difference for the next generation. The scholars were asked a series of questions by Dr. Anthony Fauci, gaining insights from young people about solutions to many issues we face today.