2011 SCHOLARSHIPS RECIPIENTS
The Gene and John Athletic Fund of Stonewall continued its Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year,
by granting scholarships to gay athletes Harmony Palmer and Nathan Strickland. The scholarships will help the
recipients to continue their education and sports training.
Granting scholarships to these two exemplary athletes fulfills key objectives
of the Fund – to promote a healthy lifestyle among LGBT individuals and to showcase this community's
outstanding athletes as role models for LGBT youth.
Harmony Jayne Palmer, this year's first grant recipient, is
a student at Claremont McKenna College and an award-winning softball player. Voted the Player of the Year in the 2010 Southern California
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), Harmony was Team Captain in High School (2008,2009) and broke school records, including Most Home Runs
in a season and Highest Batting Average in a season.
Harmony chose to play softball as a member of Athena, a sports program of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps consortium of colleges.
"I am a better person and athlete for being a part of this program. It welcomes its players' true identities and we respect each
other for our differences. I have a close-knit, amazing team and coaching staff . . . we sweat together, run together, lose together,
and win together," Harmony said, "We were SCIAC Champions in 2010 and 2011, and at the NACC tournament in Texas this year we beat
the 2010 National Champions."
Harmony's coach said she is not only an outstanding athlete, but also an excellent student, a dynamic leader, and a great role model.
Harmony said that in the face of personal adversity "With the help of teammates and friends, I never lost sight of my goals. I made
the Dean's list this year, helped my team to another championship, jumpstarted my future career, and embraced my true self. . .
career-wise I am majoring in Economics-Accounting and I plan on becoming a Certified Public Accountant."
Nathan Dwayne Strickland,
this year's second grant recipient, is attending Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio. For three years Nathan has been a member
of the Tiffin University Wrestling Team. In competition he recently earned 5th place at the Eastern Michigan Open at the 184/197 lbs
weight class. He also earned the Most Improved Wrestler award from his university. This past year, Nathan served as vice-president
of GLASS (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Supporters) the only LGBT organization on campus.
This semester, he will be a junior at Tiffin majoring in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies. "Next year
I wish to continue my involvement with the wrestling team and with hard work and determination become the first openly-homosexual
wrestler in NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) history to place at the regionals. I would also like to become an
Academic All-American in wrestling, showing that I can be an athlete while excelling in my classes." Nathan said.
"My ultimate career goal is to graduate with honors and be the student to win the Student-Athlete Award at graduation.
Even after graduating from Tiffin University and continuing on to my master's program, I wish to keep involved with wrestling,
either becoming a coach or just being a helpful spectator. I wish to find a way to give back and help others move forward," he concluded.