28 April 2012
KCAU-TV: Sioux City Student Stands Up To Bullying
Posted in Matthew Shepard Scholarship
Chanse Dunn, a senior at west high school is being awarded a prestigious scholarship, not only for his academics, but also for embracing who he is as an openly gay student. Instead of letting his sexuality define his high school experience, Chanse Dunn spoke up and stood out. He's a Senior at Sioux Cities West High School, and openly gay.
He's now being awarded with the Matthew Shepard Scholarship, partly due to his courage to take a stand, but he admits, it wasn't always easy.
"People would walk by and be like...they would know my name but they would be like 'oh there's that gay guy... to me it was like, I'm more than that... you don't know who I am," says Dunn.
During sophomore year, Dunn made the difficult decision to tell his dad he was gay. But before he did, he got some advice from his guidance counselor. It was then, that she mentioned the Matthew Shepard Scholarship, it's named a man who was killed in a violent hate crime more than 30 years ago.
"She brought it out and told me everything about the program and she said 'they have scholarships for people just like you Chanse...I automatically got really really happy."
Dunn says education is the key to helping people understand the gay community. And ultimately end the bullying and hurt.
"I have a lot more I want to do, and it's just foolish of me to want to let someone interfere with that. I have these goals that I want to reach and I cant let one person get me down, when my goal is much bigger than they are..."
Dunn is pursuing one of his goals next Fall, when he'll use the the scholarship towards his college education at Iowa State University.
He told me he'll be working towards a degree in studio art and human recourses.