Trevor Gilmore, a senior at A.C. Davis High School in Yakima, has been selected to receive one of ten National ACLU Youth Activist Scholarship Awards. For his work in starting the first Gay-Straight Alliance in Yakima, he is receiving a $4,000 college scholarship as part of a national ACLU program that recognizes youth who do exemplary work for civil liberties.
“The ACLU of Washington is very excited to have nominated one of the scholarship award winners,” said Kathleen Taylor, ACLU-WA Executive Director. “Trevor has shown determination to work for civil liberties despite obstacles and has established a safe, nonjudgmental environment where students can come together to share and learn from each other.”
Last year, Gilmore was approached by a fellow classmate to begin a Gay-Straight Alliance club at Davis High School. At the time, there were no GSAs in high schools in the Yakima Valley. Trevor brainstormed, researched, and co-wrote a constitution for the club. He then worked to ensure the club was approved by the administration and Associated Student Body.
Once the GSA got going, the club thrived, drawing as many as 30 students for meetings. The group has hosted several speakers from the community and educated students about AIDS and other health issues. It is planning to participate in the Day of Silence, a national event that fosters awareness of the need for tolerance lesbian and gay students. Building on the success at his school, Trevor has helped students at Eisenhower High in Yakima and in the rural community of Naches start their own GSAs.
“If you don’t stand up for yourself, don’t expect others to. That’s why I stand up for my beliefs,” said Gilmore.