PROGRAMS

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SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
ABOUT THE PROGRAM

2022-2023 Academic Year Aqua Scholarship Application
 
Aqua Scholarship Program is now open. Aqua scholarships are available to all LGBTQ women, transgender, intersex, and non-binary students who are pursuing a degree – associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorates. The scholarship helps pay for tuition and supports scholars in their leadership development. Each scholar is paired with a mentor. The scholars and mentors meet regularly, attend events together, and meet quarterly as a group.

How to apply

All applicants must submit an online application. Applications must be completed in order to be considered. The application deadline is June 24, 2022 at 5pm ET.

 

APPLY NOW

MENTORS

Mentors are integral to the Aqua Scholars Program. Many past participants in the Scholars Program have noted that the time spent with their mentors has had a lasting impact on their lives and achievements. Aqua’s amazing group of mentors act as the personal bridge between Scholars and AFW, helping the students to grow into leaders for the LGBTQ community. Each mentor is carefully matched to a scholarship winner through a rigorous review process. The selection committee considers multiple factors when deciding who to include in the list of mentors each year such as past experience and their level of participation in Miami’s LGBTQ community. While any woman who identifies as LGBTQ is welcome to apply to be a mentor, we prefer that those working with scholars are “out and proud” in their personal and professional lives.

WHAT TO EXPECT IF CHOSEN
Mentors chosen to participate in the Scholars Program are expected to:

• Meet with their assigned Scholar on a monthly basis, at minimum
• Attend a day-long mentor training orientation
• Participate in the program’s designated community service project for the year
• Attend quarterly gatherings with the entire program group
• Provide encouragement, advice, and support to their Scholar
• Assist their Scholar in identifying and working towards accomplishing their academic, professional, and personal goals

HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Grace Lopez, Executive Director for more information at info@aquafoundation.org.

TRANSCON

We were not able to host TransCon in 2020 due to COVID-19, but we remain hopeful that we will be able to host the conference in 2021. The safety of our community is of utmost importance.

AQUA Foundation’s TransCon is a FREE two-day conference for the South Florida transgender and non-binary community, put together BY the trans/non-binary community, with backbone and financial support from Aqua Foundation for Women.

TransCon is a safe space to empower and educate the transgender and non-binary community and their allies. This year, the first day will be called “TransCon U,” and will offer workshops and other activities focused entirely on career/employment building (resume development, interview skills, entrepreneurship, makeup/dress, etc.). The workshops on day two will span all other topics.

FREE lunch is included on both days, and there will also be other great raffles and giveaways throughout the conference!

Highlights from TransCon 2019:

Video reflects provides a summary of what we offered in 2019

Saturday Morning (9am-12:30pm): TransCon U
Saturday Afternoon (2pm-5pm): FREE Name Change Clinic with local Attorneys (real, live, on-site assistance, helping you to understand and start the name change filing process)
Saturday Evening (7pm): TransCon Kickoff Party/Social
Sunday (9:30am-4:30pm): Youth Chill Space, hosted by Alliance for GLBTQ Youth (for youth 24 and under only)
Sunday Lunchtime (12:15pm – 1:30pm): Look for affinity “roundtables” at lunch to make some new friends and/or enjoy some rich discussion
Sunday Afternoon (4:40pm): SOUL Sisters Leadership Collective Affinity Healing Circles (back again this year by popular demand!)
Sunday Evening (6:30pm): Our first ever TransCon “Wine Down”

What TransCon attendees are saying about their experience:

“TransCon changed my life and helped me understand more about transitioning”

“That weekend was the first time I allowed myself to actually be myself. I’ve never felt that weight lifted before.”

“It was nice to go somewhere where I was specifically not misgendered”

“It meant I can be myself around people who were being themselves and we can all be happy without persecution”

“Since my son came out as transgender female, it gave me information and hope that everything can be alright. It made me much more comfortable by meeting good people who care”

 

FAMILY CONNECTIONS

We are excited that our first live event of this year, our LGBTQ Family BBQ on Sunday, June 27, 2021 was a success! We had over 200 people attend, including 51 families. We hosted the event in beautiful Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. It was a beautiful day filled with lots of activities for the kids and great food.  The photos speak for themselves.

Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors that made this event possible: Football Unites, Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Rotella & Hernandez, P.A., Velocity Social Media, South Beach Insurance, Lexi Goza-State Farm, Laura Steckler-Raymond James, SAVE, Amador & Cuellar, PLLC, and Our Rainbow.

If you are interested in being involved with Aqua Foundation for Women, please email Grace Lopez, Executive Director for more information at info@aquafoundation.org.

GRANTS

ABOUT AQUA’S GRANTS PROGRAM
Aqua Foundation for Women takes its role as a local leader and the voice of LBTQ women very seriously. As such, each year we support other non-profit organizations’ projects to improve the lives of LGBTQ individuals throughout South Florida.

We have found in our time working with the community that, while there are plenty of people with big ideas for improving the lives of the LGBTQ community, there is rarely enough money to go around. With that in mind, we made a commitment to share our resources with others doing incredible work. Since our grants program began in 2004, Aqua has awarded over $400,000 to local organizations who share our vision for a better future through projects supporting LGBTQ homelessness, women’s wellness, transgender people, the arts, mental health and more.

LGBTQ YOUTH HOMELESSNESS INITIATIVE
The LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Initiative was created by Aqua Foundation for Women in response to the need for funding to support much needed new programming for LGBTQ youth who found themselves homeless or at risk. In 2013, its first year, Aqua partnered with Our Fund and The Projects Fund at the Miami Foundation to provide $100,000 to two local organizations for a program that is now known at Project Safe.

Our goal to improve the outreach for homeless or at-risk LGBTQ youth in the area is fueled by research from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago which shows that young LGBTQ people living in urban areas are 40% more likely to be homeless than their peers. We have seen the evidence of this fact on the area as young adults who identify as part of the queer community represent a disproportionate number of the unaccompanied homeless youth population in Miami-Dade County.

According to the 2018 iCount, approximately ¼ of homeless youth in the area identified themselves as part of the LGBTQ community. Even so, we believe that even that number is conservative given the myriad of reasons a young person might have for declining to self-identify and the difficulties in determining the true size of the homeless population in the area.

The initiative has proven results yet there is still much work to do and Aqua continues to be dedicated to supporting this important work. We hope you will join us in our ongoing efforts.

LGBTQ YOUTH HOMELESSNESS INITIATIVE

The LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Initiative was created by Aqua Foundation for Women in 2013. Funding was needed to start programming specifically aimed at supporting homeless or at-risk LGBTQ youth. AFW lead the charge and partnered with Our Fund and the GLBTQ Projects Fund at the Miami Foundation to raise the initial $100,000 to start what is now known as Project Safe.

Aqua has continued to support this work. Our goal to improve the depth and breadth of services for homeless or at-risk LGBTQ youth in the area is fueled by research from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago which shows that young LGBTQ people living in urban areas are 40% more likely to be homeless than their peers. We have seen the evidence of this fact on the area as young adults who identify as part of the queer community represent a disproportionate number of the unaccompanied homeless youth population in Miami-Dade County.

According to the 2018 iCount, approximately ¼ of homeless youth in the area identified themselves as part of the LGBTQ community. Even so, we believe that even that number is conservative given the myriad of reasons a young person might have for declining to self-identify and the difficulties in determining the true size of the homeless population in the area.

With that in mind, we hope you will join AQUA in our ongoing efforts. Help ensure that Miami’s young LGBTQ community continues to have access to the services they need by making a donation to the Youth Homelessness Initiative today.

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