PROFILE: Joni Nelson

Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust‘s tertiary scholarship programme is one of the three critical distribution channels. It delivers funding for LGBTQI+ high-school leavers entering their first year of university, provides contacts and ongoing support. The need grows every year and the calibre of applicants is outstanding! And the selection process very humbling. These young people are academically gifted, and they demonstrate the highest levels of leadership within the LGBTQI+ community and beyond. Often at the young age of 17 many have already forged political, community or business links and have clearly identified themselves as our leaders of the future.

This month we feature one of our 2013 scholarship winners, Joni Nelson. Joni attended Carmel College in Long Bay and went on to study a BA at Auckland University. Joni was a stand-out applicant in every way and was personality plus! She had already founded LGBTQI+ peer group Breaking Boundaries, and in addition to the original scholarship the Trust is also proud to have provided funding for the critical work done by this grassroots non-profit creative organisation for queer, transgender, intersex and questioning people in New Zealand.

Breaking Boundaries are a small creative collective who develop innovative, inclusive, and accessible projects for the LGBTQI+ community. The purpose and objective is to uplift, empower and cultivate diverse local LGBTQI+ creative talent. Breaking Boundaries is run by a small dedicated team of volunteers – the BRKBND family. Learn more here.

We’d love to hear from more of our scholarship winners to update on how your lives and careers have progressed. Please email us at trust@rainbowauckland.org.nz.

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