Although the money has definitely been an incredible gift these past three years, the Aqua Foundation has given me much more than any check ever could: an outlet to find myself within the lesbian community, and a place to feel open and honest about who I am as a woman. I was 18 when I first applied, and now that I am 22, I can tell that my experiences growing up with the support of the Aqua Foundation have undeniably shaped who I am. I have become more confident and aware of myself as an LBT woman, and through the countless conversations, interactions, and experiences among the women of the foundation, I have really gained a sense of belonging in the South Florida lesbian community.
Quite frankly, the scholarship granted me the opportunity to meet and learn from the most incredible group of women and mentors in the LBT community, which has been an invaluable experience. And even though I spend much of my year in Chicago at school, I feel the most at home when I am in South Florida, and do everything I can to be a part of our community again; I spent two summers interning at the Aqua Foundation office, I attend events and parties, and t maintain the friendships I have made with women in the foundation. Without a doubt, I love the feeling of being around the thriving and supportive Aqua Foundation community in South Florida.
Five years after first applying for the Aqua Foundation Scholarship, I truly understand the importance of having a program where LBT women reach out to LBT youth. Not only have I benefitted from the program’s monetary support, but I have also gained an invaluable network of women mentors and friends. I know that I am lucky to have the Aqua Foundation to support me, and (as is already happening) I intend to share my own experiences with younger LBT youth, as they come to me looking for somebody to talk to about feeling comfortable with their own sexuality, support, and place within the community.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
The Aqua Foundation granted me over $16,000 in scholarship money, allowing me to attend college out-of-state. Also, their mentorship program has connected me with supportive and caring mentors who follow my growth in school, and ensure that I have a network of people available to me when I need advice or support.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Create event more outlets and support programs for LBT youth in the Miami community.
How would you describe the help you got from this organization?
How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?
How do you feel you were treated by this organization?
How did you find this group?
Through an ad in a local lesbian publication.
What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?
Aqua Foundation has helped me accept my sexuality, and encouraged me to be a leader within the LBT community.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?