Rise Up Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Advocacy Named After Alum

Announcing the Rise Up Scholarship named in honor of alum Marja Kudej, a persistent advocate for LGBTQ+ youth, who earned a degree in English with a minor in Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University. She received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Women and Gender Studies in 2011 and continued to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community until her passing in 2022. Marja's advocacy helped to change non-compliant policies within Virginia school districts that outed individuals without their consent. Her dedication to supporting LGBTQ+ youth in Virginia inspired her friends and family to carry on her mission with this annual scholarship. 

The scholarship application is now open with a deadline of May 15th 2023. The recipient will receive $1000 for the year. 


  • Students 25 years or younger who advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community

  • Attending or plan to attend a four year college or university

  • Residents of Prince William County, Manassas Park, or Manassas City, Virginia

Scholarship Mission: LGBTQIA+ individuals face greater socioeconomic and health disadvantages compared to their heterosexual & cisgender counterparts.  With this fund, we aim to assist members of the LGBTQIA+ community, including straight and cis allies, in achieving their education goals through offering financial support during their enrollment in an institute of higher learning.  

For more information about the scholarship and the application process, please click here. 

rise up scholarship