The Human Rights Campaign Foundation awarded a Generation Equality Scholarship to University of Mary Washington junior Charles Girard ’12.
The $500 scholarship recently was awarded as part of the HRC Foundation’s Youth and Campus Outreach Program, which aims to provide tools, facilitate connections, and empower young people to fight for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) equality on campuses.
Girard is majoring in American studies with a concentration in gender and sexuality. Since 2008, Girard has held various roles on the executive committee of UMW’s PRISM (People Representing Individuals of Sexual Minorities), including secretary and webmaster.
He is a co-founder and current president of the Gender-Neutral Housing Project, formed in 2008 to establish a gender-neutral housing policy on campus. Also, Girard was chosen by Equality Virginia to serve on the Generation Equality board, their LGBT youth outreach program, and to speak at Equality Virginia’s statewide conference about UMW’s gender-neutral housing initiative.
Girard said he plans to continue working with PRISM to have gender identity and expression added to the school’s non-discrimination policy. After graduation, he said, “I want to work with transgender youth and use the tools that I am learning in college to continue to make a difference in the lives of my transgender brothers and sisters.”