FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cream City Foundation Selects 11 area students for the 2022 Scholarship Program
MILWAUKEE, WI – Cream City Foundation is excited to announce the recipients of the 2022 Scholarship Program after a record-breaking number of applicants. Eleven Milwaukee-area students were selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship totaling $26,000 to LGBTQ students of SE Wisconsin.
The program was a tremendous success for the foundation, with 90 individuals applying for a scholarship, further showing the continued need for scholarships for LGBTQ+ identifying students.
“Cream City Foundation has been providing student scholarships for over 7 years. Each year, we’ve seen the number of applicants increase at an exciting pace,” said the Scholarship Committee Chair Angela Harden. “2022 was no different, with a record-breaking 95 applications. It goes without saying that support for this program is as important as ever.”
Below is the complete list of the 2022 scholarship recipients. Please visit our website to read the complete biographies of each recipient.
Andrew Anastasia, Mount Mary – Masters, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Von Dean, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee – Bachelor’s; Psychology
JJ Draper, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee – Bachelor’s; Community Engagement in Education
Lexi Dyson, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee – Master’s; Social Work
Perla Gonzalez, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design – Bachelor’s; Industrial Design and/or Interior Design & Architecture
Madeline Johnson, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee – PhD; Clinical Psychology
Melissa Lemke, Mount Mary University – Master’s; Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Emily Odenkirk, University of Wisconsin – Madison – Bachelor’s; Political Science
Antonio Oliver, Milwaukee Area Technical College – Associate’s; Human Services
Syd Robinson, Morehouse College – Bachelors; Business Administration
Maria Sgro, Medical College of Wisconsin – Doctorate; Medicine
The 2022 Scholarship Program committee included Cream City board members and community members. The committee included Angela Harden (Chair), Husch Blackwell; Camrin LaFond, Milwaukee Tool; Laura Mayerle; Reverend Tory Topjian, Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church; Sangeeta Rajput, GE Healthcare; Jen Murray, High Vibe Healing Collective; Samantha Mitchell, Unite Way of Waukesha and Milwaukee County; Patrinia Galgan, Baird; Jay Messar.
Cream City Foundation would like to thank the Milwaukee Gay Sports Network for presenting two scholarships, Will Radler for presenting six scholarships and William Warlow for presenting one scholarship.
ABOUT THE LGBTQ+ SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Cream City Foundation LGBTQ+ Scholarship Program was founded in 2015 to support LGBTQ+ student leaders in Southeastern Wisconsin. Scholarships can be used for any post-secondary education at the undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate level.
Contact Info: Logan Self | (414) 225-0244 | Logan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Anastasia is attending Mt. Mary University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Andrew is assistant professor of English at Harper College, where he is also the Pride Club advisor. His work applies trauma-informed practices and social justice education to post-secondary pedagogy.
Andrew also has designed courses for the health careers fields to help future practitioners recognize and eliminate unconscious bias. He co-facilitates the campus Safe Zone program and hopes to serve his trans/queer community by offering low-cost mental health services once he graduates.
Javon Dean is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. From personal experiences he has witnessed how poverty, lack of access to resources, and having to navigate the world being viewed as “other” can affects one’s psyche. Javon has made it his personal mission to help heal the hearts and minds of the underserved and underrepresented members of communities of color and LGBT communities and to ensure that they feel seen and heard. He hopes to complete this mission through therapy based training, education surrounding emotional intelligence, and the creation of strong support networks.
JJ Draper is attending the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Community Engagement in Education. As an advocate for the black and brown LGBTQ+ community, JJ hopes to be able to create positive change and opportunities for community building in Milwaukee. JJ is the co founder of the Butterfly Collective, which is a mutual aid project dedicated to bettering the lives of black and brown trans and gender nonconforming individuals living in Milwaukee. JJ has made starting their own nonprofit a long term goal once they receive their degree.
Lexi Dyson will be attending the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in order to obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work. Having served as president of Carroll University’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance for two years and worked in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion throughout much of undergraduate school, Lexi developed a passion for helping fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community feel safe, supported, and confident in their identities. Lexi hopes to use a Master’s Degree in Social Work to develop better professional skills, and ultimately hopes to help LGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing homelessness to find support and shelter.
Perla Gonzalez will be a first generation freshman at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design this upcoming fall. While attending MIAD, Perla will work towards her BFA in Industrial Design or/and Interior Architecture. It is her ultimate goal to diversify the round table of human-centered design with queer voices like her own as well as
the nonbinary, people of color and women. The proof to this can be seen in her consummate professionalism in her 2020 ArtWorks Internship and Y2I Cohort Participation where she created safe physical and digital spaces for the LGBTQ to celebrate and cultivate its culture.
Madeline Johnson is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to obtain her PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in pediatric health psychology. Madeline has a long-term goal of providing clinical care to children and families experiencing extreme stress due to chronic illness in an academic medical setting.
She hopes that she can leverage her passion for LGBTQ rights and advocacy to empower youth to live their truth while honing her research skills to reduce health disparities within the community.
Melissa Lemke is enrolled at Mount Mary University in the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. She started her public health career by working in health promotion with LGBTQ young people in Wisconsin. LGBTQ issues have been a focal point of her work as a public health educator and elected official. Her long-term goal is to continue to foster the healthy development of people in the Milwaukee Area by supporting their mental health as a counselor. She plans to make LGBTQ people a continued focus of her work.
Emily Odenkirk is a graduating senior from Oak Creek, WI who is planning to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Motivated by the murder of George Floyd, Emily has worked hard to fight for the rights of marginalized communities. She was selected to work as a Presidential Fellow for the Joe Biden Campaign and will continue her work this summer as a fellow for Minnesota DFL Party. She plans to pursue a degree in political science with the intention of being a voice for those whose voices too often go unheard.
Hello, my name is Antonio Oliver, and I am a Human Service major at MATC. I am also a US Army Veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2009-2010. My goals are to become a medical license counselor. I suffer from depression and anxiety, but I have been working on my healing since 2019. I would love to help other people who are also deal with mental health issues.
Syd Robinson is attending Morehouse College Online and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration. Syd has been advocating for the rights of Black and Brown people and LGBTQ+ communities for 18 years. Syd hopes to ignite change in his communities by leading by example and inspiring people of all ages to become the change they wish to see in the world. Syd’s long term goal is to earn his doctorate in Education and increase access to his workshops about inclusive language and Transgender equity across the United States.
A recent transplant from the island of Guam, Maria is thrilled to have made Milwaukee her new home as she attends the Medical College of Wisconsin. She earned a B.S. in Allied Health Science, M.S. in Integrative Anatomical Sciences, and is humbled to now be pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree. Her upbringing in a
medically underserved region is what inspired her to pursue this journey and become a physician dedicated to serving vulnerable populations. Maria is passionate about helping those disproportionately affected by social determinants of health, particularly the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and ethnic minorities.