UAA Diversity Action Council announces Student Diversity Award recipients
by Matt Jardin |
Each year, the UAA Diversity Action Council awards the Student Diversity Award Scholarship to students who significantly enhance diversity at UAA by increasing visibility of diverse people, cultures and/or perspectives; creating a welcoming environment; and/or representing diverse student voices through their advocacy and participation in UAA student organizations. The council picks the top applicants to receive a tuition grant up to $1,000.
A big congratulations to human services student Vincent Feuilles for being one of this year's top four awardees!
Human services major Vincent Feuilles believes in equity via education, demonstrated through his work with the Queen’s Guard. Established after the loss of his friend and fellow activist, the Queen's Guard seeks to correct harmful misinformation about the LGBTQ community, as well as provide a physical presence at events to establish a safe atmosphere.
“The best way I could think of doing something was to just stand up to the negativity we see at LGBTQ events, especially those for youths,” said Feuilles. “There's this really old quote: ‘What people don't understand, they fear. What they fear, they hate. And what they hate, they destroy.’ So we're more interested in being positive and doing what we can to educate folks when they come up with honest questions.”
Having already earned a chemical dependency technician certification, Feuilles plans on finishing his bachelor's this fall before pursuing his Master of Social Work and eventually becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
“You tell a person they're worthless often enough, they start to not believe in themselves as being real,” said Feuilles. “When you look at the statistics, trans youth have the highest rate of substance abuse as a coping mechanism out of all other LGBTQ demographics. That’s why I’m pursuing human services, because I want to help LGBTQ people find themselves and to do it with positive coping mechanisms.”