Part of the vision for “Coming Out From Behind The Badge” was to start a scholarship program to support “out” gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender law enforcement students. I’m pleased to announce today the official start of our national scholarship program, “Out To Protect!” This scholarship program is the very first of its kind in the country. We are developing a non-profit corporation with the mission to “create a greater awareness of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender professionals working in law enforcement and to support those pursuing a law enforcement career.”
We are applying for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status so that donations we collect will be tax deductible. Our organization will be comprised entirely of volunteers. Not one dollar of donated money will go to pay a salary. Our intent is to devote 90% or more of every donated dollar to scholarships. The remaining amount will be used to promote this program and our educational efforts. It is my hope that every working GLBT member of law enforcement will contribute to the future of law enforcement by investing in this scholarship program. My dream would be to build an endowment of sufficient size to make this scholarship program self-supporting. All of these efforts will be developed and guided by a very talented Board of Directors. My partner, Tony Pennacchio, who is a professional educator will serve as the Treasurer. Mr. Damien Sandoval, Director of the Police Academy at Napa Valley College, and Officer Ben Smith of the San Francisco Police Department will serve as Directors.
We will invite applications from “out” GLBT law enforcement students from throughout the United States. Our board of directors will review the applications and make awards based on those applicants who best meet our selection criteria. Our goal this year is to provide two $1000 scholarships.
You can start supporting this effort immediately by making a donation – CLICK HERE. You can also support our efforts by purchasing logo items from one of our two online stores. CLICK HERE for the new Out To Protect store.
To stay informed about how this project develops, please join our mailing list by CLICKING HERE.