Wheelock College’s four-year Passion for Action Scholarship Program is given to incoming freshmen from greater Boston who already demonstrated an exceptional commitment to community service and involvement.
Kerr graduated from Methuen High School, where he was president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. As president, he developed multiple programs to educate not only his classmates but also his teachers and the staff at the school. In addition, he has spoken to students from more than 200 schools across the state to raise awareness about transgender students. As a member of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBT Youth, he met with Governor Deval Patrick and Commissioner Mitchell Chester (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) to advocate for updating the regulations on the recently amended student anti-discrimination law to include gender identity, a change that went into effect just a few months after that meeting. Kerr also met with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to discuss ways in which the DOE can support transgender students most effectively. For his tremendous dedication to advocacy for LGBT Youth, Kerr recently received the Massachusetts Advocates for Children 2013 Youth Advocate of the Year Award.
With the funds raised through the inaugural event, the College created the Passion for Action Scholarship Program for outstanding incoming Wheelock students from Greater Boston. The scholarship is paired with a unique academic program which develops these students' leadership and community service skills. The first Passion Scholars graduated from Wheelock in May 2012, and there are currently 17 Passion Scholars enrolled, with an additional five scholarships awarded to each incoming class.
The proceeds from the 2013 Passion for Action Leadership Award Dinner will support the growth of this special scholarship program.