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Grand Rapids Trans Foundation awards first scholarship

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Grand Rapids-based nonprofit awards first $2,500 scholarship to local transgender student.

Grand Rapids Trans Foundation

Grand Rapids Trans Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, currently focusing on providing scholarships to individuals who are experiencing financial barriers to their continued education.  They founded in December 2015.


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Aaminah Shakur

Aaminah Shakur /Used with Aaminah's written permission.

On behalf of its Board of Directors, the Grand Rapids Trans Foundation (GRTF) is pleased to award its first $2,500 scholarship to local college student Aaminah Shakur.  The GRTF scholarship program invests in transgender individuals in Grand Rapids, MI, by removing financial barriers to education.

All applicants must self-identify on the transgender spectrum, prove financial need, and be enrolled in a Kent County post-secondary school. This year's awarded scholarship will be used for educationally related expenses in the 2016-2017 academic year. 

The need for such a program is unmistakable. In the U.S., transgender people experience twice the rate of unemployment as the general public.  They are four times as likely to have an annual household income of under $10,000.  Additionally, this group remains at high risk for other hardships including rejection, violence, homelessness, lack of healthcare, and discrimination.

Not surprisingly, statistics show that obtaining a degree or certificate can positively affect the financial situations of transgender people. GRTF is seeking to engage with the Grand Rapids community in efforts to foster greater access to education, resources, and financial stability.

Read more about this year's chosen applicant below!


Aaminah Shakur, they/them pronouns
Kendall College, Art History major

"I identify as Two-Spirit because it is the proper term within my Indigenous tribes to describe genderqueer identities.

I'm a non-traditional student--age 41-- mixed race, disabled, self-supporting, and returning to school for the first time due to poverty. Blending art history and critique of culture, I hope to bring to light the work of more queer, disabled artists of color."


GRTF will begin collecting applications for the next scholarship cycle (2017-2018 academic year) on January 1, 2017.

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