ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Pride St. Louis and the Missouri Courage Scholarship held their first ever “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (“FAFSA”) event on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Pride St. Louis Office. The event was designed to offer assistance and guidance through the application process for financial assistance for those seeking to pursue higher education.

PrideScholarshipThe event featured six FAFSA experts who were on handto assist LGBTQIA+/queer students through the sometimes complicated and monotonous college application process. The experts came from a variety of local organizations and businesses, including St. Louis area banks, educational centers, and universities.


 Leon Braxton, the Director of Community Outreach and Scholarship for Pride St. Louis, Inc. said, “It was extremely important for Pride St. Louis to open its doors to members of [the] community who needed assistance in completing their FAFSA applications where they felt safe and comfortable.”

Not only was this event a first for the organization but also for the Missouri Department of Higher Education, who authorized a community organization as an application site at which students were able to apply for financial aid. Historically, application sites have been held at area high schools.

“Everyone [was] very helpful and friendly. Being at the Pride St. Louis office made me feel very relaxed, and it was nice being in familiar surroundings,” said Nikki Sweets, a returning student from a several-year break.



In addition to holding their first-ever FAFSA event, Pride St. Louis, Inc. along with the Missouri Courage Scholarship are excited to announce that the “Show Me Bears” organization will be joining the scholarship-awarding partnership, which was formally announced late last fall. The partnership was established to provide a necessary means to scholarships and funding for deserving LGBTQIA+ community members who are seeking continuing education.

The “Show Me Bears,” based in St. Louis, is a 501(c)(3) organization for bears and bear admirers. The organization was founded in November 1993, and has since grown to over one-hundred (100) members. Membership is open to men twenty-one (21) years of age or older who enjoy charitable fundraising and giving back to the community.

Pride St. Louis, the Missouri Courage Scholarship, and “Show Me Bears” will be awarding up to $20,000 in scholarships to area high school students, international students, and community members who are continuing their education. The deadline for the scholarship application is March 31, 2016. Those interested in applying may visit for more information on the application process and requirements.




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