NOTICE: Due to the increasing financial hardships on students caused by COVID19, we have extended the deadline for the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship to July 20th, 2020.

Recent recipients of the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

Dedicated to continuing the legacy of AIDS educator and activist Pedro Zamora, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship seeks to support the academic efforts of emerging young leaders who share Pedro’s passionate commitment to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The scholarship is open to all current high school seniors and college freshman, sophomores and juniors (ages 27 and younger) who demonstrate an active commitment to mitigating the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and taking on roles of public service and leadership. Examples of Pedro Zamora Scholars’ previous work include but are not limited to:

• Serving in peer-education and prevention programs

• Working in the reproductive and sexual health fields

• Pursuing a medical degree to work with HIV-positive individuals

• International service providing AIDS-related care and/or HIV-prevention education

• Research in established and emerging technologies designed to mitigate the epidemic

• Activism and social change efforts that address issues contributing to the epidemic, such as: education and drug sentencing reform, employment and economic justice issues, housing and homelessness.

NOTICE: Due to the increasing financial hardships on students caused by COVID19, we have extended the deadline to July 20th, 2020 and added two optional questions to the application. Though completely optional, we encourage each applicant to share how their academic pursuits, activism, service and financial needs may have shifted in response to COVID19.

Since 2009, we have awarded a total of $300,000 in scholarships to 88 emerging young leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A total of $50,000 was awarded to 10 students in 2019.

REQUIREMENTS

Submissions must include the following five items:

1. A completed application - please email Matt Kennedy at mkennedy@aidsmemorial.org should you have any questions.

2. A brief Personal Statement (not to exceed 500 words) describing some of the ways that you provide service and/or leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS and how your studies, career plans, or public service will contribute to those efforts.

3. A written Essay, not to exceed 1,500 words, in which you:1. Reflect on the ways in which your life has been impacted by HIV/AIDS; 2. Explore and describe the ways in which you are providing public service or leadership that makes a difference in the lives of people with HIV/AIDS, or people at risk; and 3. Detail how the scholarship will help you in your career path and how that career will allow you to continue to your work to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in a way that makes a difference.

4. At least one written Letter of Recommendation from a teacher, program coordinator, supervisor/ally/community leader or other adult who is directly involved in your HIV/AIDS-related service, leadership, or field of study.

5. A Transcript from current high school or college that demonstrates a minimum 2.5 GPA overall, or in the immediate past two semesters or three trimesters.

Pedro’s Legacy

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 a young man 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 and 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.

The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship spotlights and supports young leaders who carry the torch of activists like Pedro and mitigate the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in its current form — in ways inspired by their own passions, insights, originality and conviction. The National AIDS Memorial is committed to ensuring that the legacy of Pedro Zamora continues and thrives through this scholarship.

“These really young men in our theater community—we were losing a generation. We’ve lost a generation of great talent and creativity. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening.’ No one seemed to know what to do. My friends were dying. I kept looking for what the key was: what was keeping this locked in place? And it was homophobia. It still is.”

       – Actress Judith Light

The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

Spotlights and supports young leaders who carry the torch of activists like Pedro and mitigate the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in its current form — in ways inspired by their own passions, insights, originality and conviction
APPLY NOW

NEED ASSISTANCE?

Please contact Matt Kennedy at mkennedy@aidsmemorial.org should you have any questions.