Sophie’s Live Out Loud Award

May 10, 2025
Awards Available: 1

Scholarship Description

SMYAL’s scholarships recognize outstanding and unapologetic LGBTQ+ student leaders who have demonstrated personal growth and a commitment to creating change in their school or community.

Named in honor of Sophie Magerl, Sophie’s Live Out Loud Award (LOLA) will provide a $5,000 scholarship for one student leader who embodies Sophie’s values of self-expression, creative arts, empowerment, resilience, and dedication to community. Sophie was an inspiring 17-year-old who lived out loud and fought for others to be able to express themselves freely.


  • Identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Must be 24 years old or younger
  • Either a high school graduate or completed GED in the D.C. Metro Area*
  • Be starting your first semester of post-secondary education (2 or 4 year college, university, trade school, technical school etc.) in the coming Fall
  • *The DC Metro Area includes Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia. If you live in the DC Metro area but attended high school out of the area, you may still be eligible.

What Do I Need to Apply?

  • A personal essay (maximum 1,500 words)
    • Your essay should address the following prompt: “Tell us about your journey as LGBTQ+ leader: what obstacles have you overcome, how have you positively impacted the lives of those around you in your school or local community, and how do you hope to continue to grow in the future?”
    • Make sure your essay answers all 3 components, although it does not necessarily need to go in that order.
  • Two letters of support from individuals who can speak to your suitability for this award
  • A list of programs where you have submitted active applications and any acceptance letters you’ve received

Things to Consider

Eligible applicants include graduating seniors, youth who took a gap year or two, youth who are completing a GED this Spring, etc.– as long as you are planning to start continuing education this upcoming year. Students returning to higher education (such as upperclassmen) are not eligible for this award.

We encourage all applicants to seriously consider their level of comfort being publicly out about their identities, as winners will have their picture and biography publicized. Scholarship Search