Nicholas Cowden, a student at the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York, has been named the 2016 Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida’s Anita Priest Memorial Scholarship winner.
“I hope to pursue the career of a ballet dancer,” Cowden, 19, wrote in his scholarship application. “I feel driven to accomplish everything I do to the best of my ability, not only for myself, but to show everyone who put me down, that I am above that. I often was ridiculed for being a ballet dancer in high school & some days were hard; it was hard to pursue my dream when I was made fun of for wanting to achieve it.
Cowden, who grew up in Indiana and came out to his parents as gay when he was in the fifth grade, received $2,500 from the Anita Priest Memorial Scholarship fund, said Herb Sosa, executive director of Unity Coalition in Miami, which presents the award annually to LGBT college students in art, design & education.
“He evokes all the qualities of the Anita Priest Scholarship including having a wonderful grade point average, of course, incredible talent and really showing potential to be a community leader,” Sosa said.
Unity Coalition news release
With the common goals of Leadership & Empowering the LGBT community through Art, Design & Education, Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida is proud continue the legacy of Anita Priest and the Whispering Angels Foundation, by spearheading the Anita Priest Memorial Scholarship, ongoing.
Currently enrolled in Ballet Theater’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, our 2016 Scholarship Recipient has already exceeded most expectations and accolades as part of the American Ballet theatre.
“Scholarship Programs such as the Anita Priest Memorial Scholarship, allow LGBT students to pursue careers and studies that might not otherwise be available. It is a source of inspiration to receive this scholarship and I hope to inspire others to realize that dreams can become reality,” scholarship winner Nicholas Cowden says.
Established in 2007 in memory of her late partner, renowned Interior Designer Anita Priest, the “Whispering Angels” Memorial Scholarship program founded by Sandra Holiday, is a legacy program that provides a scholarship for the LGBT community to advance their education in the area of Design, the Arts & Education.
Unity Coalition|Coalición Unida (UC|CU), the first & only organization for the Latino| Hispanic|LGBTQ Community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning) - advancing Equality & Fairness since 2002. Our work is 100% funded by events, private donations & grants. We are 100% staffed & managed by volunteers. Everything that comes in, goes right back out for programming, community building, leading & assisting our LGBTQ community.
Most recently, Mr Cowden performed as part of Ethan Stiefel’s “Knightlife,” the comic ballet that opened a three-day run of American Ballet Theater’s Studio Company at the Joyce Theater in New York City. The New York Times review said the production “Pokes Fun at Ballet With Silliness and Sophistication.”
We wish Nicholas Cowden, and all our Scholarship recipients, all the happiness, success and accolades in the world.