The five Rocky Campana Annual GSA Leadership Memorial Scholarship recipients are seen at Family Services Windsor-Essex in Windsor, June 10, 2019. (Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News)

Gay-Straight Alliance leaders awarded scholarships

Five local students have been awarded for helping to support and create a safe space for LGBTQ students at their high schools.

Marisa Osborne, Luke Morrison, Katelyn Seto, Alyssa Miskov-Wilhelm and Laura Prior all received the Rocky Campana Annual GSA Leadership Memorial Scholarship during a ceremony at  Family Services Windsor on Monday, for their work with their schools’ Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).  Schools represented by the winners are St. Thomas of Villanova and F.J. Brennan and Cardinal Carter from the Catholic school board, along with Tecumseh Vista and Vincent Massey Secondary from the public board.

“It means so much to be recognized for this. I mean this could help me further my education. And just to be recognized as someone who is in the GSA, it means so much because I’ve worked hard over the past four years,” said Osborne, who will be attending the University of Windsor in the fall. “I’ve been a supportive person throughout my whole school community, no matter who they are, what their race is, what their gender is, what their sexuality is, no matter what it is.”

A record 12 applicants were considered for the scholarships, and the Campana family increased the number of students who receive the award this year from three to five.  All five recipients received a $1,000 scholarship for their post-secondary education.

“I came out when I was 13 years old and I had super supportive parents who let be whoever I wanted to be and never pushed me into anything,” she said. “So I wanted to help other people to have that acceptance because I know that everyone isn’t as fortunate as me,” said Seto, who attends Vincent Massey.

The Rocky Campana scholarships have been awarded since 2013.

-With files from Mark Brown.