Trio of Local Students Honored for Service

Courtesy photo    Local seniors (left to right) Danny Charney, Ella Burk and Kaitlin Alcontin pose for a quick portrait while at the 29th eQuality Scholarship Awards Dinner.

Three graduating high school seniors in Alameda have been awarded 2018 eQuality Scholarships for their service to the LGBT+ community. 

Kaitlin Alcontin and Ella Burk, students at Encinal High, and Danny Charney of Alameda High were among the 19 recipients announced at the 29th eQuality Scholarship Awards Dinner held May 14 at Delancey Street Town Hall in San Francisco.

Each student was awarded $6,000 toward their post-secondary education, bringing the total distributed to more than $1.3 million since the first scholarship was awarded in 1989.

The three Alameda students were among 12 high school awardees from throughout northern and central California, from Eureka to Santa Maria. One community college transfer student and six medical students also received scholarships.

Charney received the Hsu-Chambers Scholarship, sponsored by Alameda residents Eric Hsu and James Chambers. Hsu is also the chair of the eQuality Scholarship Committee. Alcontin received the PG&E George Kronenberger Memorial Scholarship, named for the founder of the scholarship program, and Burk received a PG&E PrideNetwork Scholarship. Both PG&E scholarships were funded mostly by donations from the utility’s employees.

All of the awardees are leaders in their high school’s LGBT+ clubs, providing safe spaces for all youth. Their activism is evidenced by a broad array of projects ranging from educational equity to gender neutrality to mental-health services. In many cases, their service has extended to other social service and civic initiatives.

Over the past 29 years, eQuality has provided financial assistance to more than 300 students. It is California’s premier LGBT+ and ally youth service-recognition program. When founded in 1989, it was the first such organization of its kind in the nation.

More information is available at www.equalityscholarship.org.