One of the best things about GSBA Scholarship is the community it brings, and nothing highlights that more than Immersion Weekend. On Friday, August 11, GSBA scholars took a break from their summer to gather into classrooms at Bastyr University in Kenmore for a 2-day retreat. Here, scholars participated in workshops, shared meals, and engaged in conversation with their GSBA family before the academic year gets fully underway.
From the importance of advocacy and how that works in Olympia, to understanding a credit score, how to start a business, to the sexual health class you really needed in school, Immersion Weekend strives to meet the vast needs of a well-rounded scholar. We aim to broaden their skillset, and really give folks a leg-up into the systems they navigate.
Scholars noted that one of most powerful workshops of the weekend was Intersectional Circles. Here, we broke out into self-identified groups to explore how identity, race, and ethnicity can create unique opportunities and challenges for professional advancement. At the end of the conversation, scholars circled up to collectively share strategies on how to become better allies to one another on their shared journey.
The path to graduation for GSBA scholars isn’t just knowledge, it’s also seeing yourself reflected in the professional world. To that end, GSBA volunteers and scholar alums joined us on Saturday morning for an “alumni” panel, speaking to life as an LGBTQ+ person post-schooling and into next steps – the rewards, setbacks, importance of showing up, and vision for the future.
Between workshops, scholars enjoyed lunch on the Bastyr campus, reconnecting and meeting new scholars who have just joined the 2023-24 cohort. Many laughs, group chats, and friendships came out of the time, ensuring that no matter where they may be, GSBA scholars always have a friendly face to turn to in moments of need.
So many folks make this experience possible, and so, a special thanks to GSBA staff, alumni, volunteers, and scholarship donors for your time, energy, assistance, and goodies donated to Immersion Weekend. It wouldn’t be the same without you!
The GSBA Scholarship application for the 2024-25 cohort opens on October 11, Coming Out Day!
Learn more at https://thegsba.org/scholarship-fund/.
Stacy Harbour-Van Hoy
Scholarship & Education Fund Program Manager