The Heartland Pride Scholarship Program was established in 2012. The mission of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to individuals who identify as LGBTQIA2S+ who are enrolled for study in community colleges, universities, and/or certification from a trade school.

Applications for the 2024 scholarship period are now closed. Scholarship recipients will be notified in May.


These Heartland Pride scholarships are provided thanks to the generous support of individuals and corporate sponsors who understand the power of education to create a brighter future.

Brad Fugeli Scholarship — $2,500 Award
Brad was a young activist, starting the first Gay-Straight Alliance at Omaha North High School. He organized and spoke out for those like himself to have a safe space in school. He was excited to go to college. Heartland Pride is honoring Fugeli with a scholarship to help those who are also excited about learning. Those who are eligible for this scholarship must be between the ages of 18 and 24 and identify as LGBTQIA2S+.

Marsha P. Johnson Scholarship — $2,500 Award
A self-identified Drag Queen who lived the transgender experience loudly proclaimed “Darling, I want my gay rights now.” Johnson was a prominent activist for gay rights and supported LGBTQIA2S+ individuals in so many ways. Heartland Pride wanted to honor her by supporting the education of local LGBTQIA2S+ individuals. Those who are eligible for this scholarship must be older than 24 years of age and identify as LGBTQIA2S+.

Dino Andrande Scholarship — $2,500 Award
Dino was a big part of Heartland Pride. He would show up to every event and meeting he could, wanting to make everything better. Heartland Pride wanted to honor his generosity with a scholarship in his name. Those who are eligible for this scholarship must be an individual with disabilities as defined by Nebraska Rule 51 seeking higher education to pursue academic goals.

Eli Rigatuso Scholarship — $2,500 Award
Eli is a local equal rights activist, transmasculine Two-Spirit of the Menominee Nation, and former recipient of the Marsha P. Johnson Changemaker Award. Eli is an advocate for the LGBTQIA2ST+ voice, using his own lived experiences to help those like him. Those who are eligible for this scholarship must be LGBTQIA2S+ and BIPOC.


To be eligible to receive a Heartland Pride Scholarship, an individual:

  • Applicants must have permanent residence status in Nebraska or Council Bluffs Area
  • Applicants must have completed all requirements to attend secondary education/trade school.
  • Applicants must be accepted as a full-time or part-time student at a college, university, or trade school program for the upcoming academic year.
  • Applicants must complete and submit a Scholarship Application time stamped by 11:59PM March 31, 2024.
  • Applicants must complete a 250 word essay on “How the Heartland Pride Scholarship will impact my education”.

Transcript – Unofficial is acceptable, attach PDF to application

Proof of acceptance at an academic, vocational, or technical school for post-secondary studies (scanned letter, PDF attached to the application)

A minimum 250 word essay

Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations, unusual personal or family circumstances, and submitted essay.

All information received from applicants is considered confidential and is reviewed only by the Heartland Pride Scholarship Selection Committee. While the scholarships are not renewable, students may reapply each year they meet the eligibility requirements.

Selection of recipients is made by the Heartland Pride Scholarship Selection Committee. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by email in May 2024. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients.