What is the OPALGA+
Student Scholarship Fund?

The OPALGA+ Student Scholarship Fund provides financial support for continuing education of local LGBTQ+ students and allies who have demonstrated service and advocacy to the LGBTQ+ community and/or the larger community. Scholarships vary in amount up to $5,000, paid directly to the college or program you plan to attend.

APPLICATIONS FOR 2023 SCHOLARSHIPS CLOSED ON FEBRUARY 28, 2023 (Extended from January 31st). If you have already applied but still need to submit supporting materials or if you have any questions, please send an email to scholarship@opalga.org.


  1. Identify as an LGBTQ+ person or be the child of an LGBTQ+ person or be an LGBTQ+ ally.
  2. Be a graduating high school senior applying to a 4-year or 2-year degree program or trade school/certificate program. Preference will be given to candidates graduating high school and to those who have not previously been awarded an OPALGA+ scholarship.
  3. Reside in one of the following locations: Oak Park, River Forest, Berwyn, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Broadview, Brookfield, North Riverside, Riverside OR the following Chicago zip codes: 60707, 60623, 60624, 60639, 60644, or 60651.


  1. Scholarship application found at www.opalga.org/scholarship-application/
  2. One essay describing your service/advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community or larger community
  3. Two or more letters of recommendation from those with knowledge of your service and character

Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on the strength of the essays, recommendations, demonstration of dedication to service, and involvement in other activities.

OPALGA+ 2023 Student
Scholarship Fund 

Over $30,000 was raised as part of our 2022 Scholarship Gala to support the continuing education of LGBTQ+ youth. If you would like to donate to the 2023 Student Scholarship Fund, please click on the Paypal button below:

Meet the 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Meet the 2022 winners

Marty Cowherd, Chicago

  • High school: Noble Johnson College Prep, Chicago
  • College: University of Chicago, Chicago

Montasia “Tasia” Curry, Chicago

  • High school: Proviso East, Maywood
  • College: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Madeleine Falkenholm, Oak Park

  • High school: Trinity, River Forest
  • College: Loyola University, Chicago

Marielle Janosky, Oak Park

  • High school: Oak Park River Forest
  • College: Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois

David Martinez, Berwyn

  • High school: Morton West, Berwyn
  • College: Concordia University, River Forest

Sophia Pacheco, Brookfield

  • High school: Fenwick, Oak Park
  • College: Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

Ana Shack, River Forest

  • High school: Oak Park River Forest
  • College: Illinois Institute of Technology