The Northeastern Pennsylvania Rainbow Alliance held their third annual Rainbow Awards Gala on April 21 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Wilkes-Barre. The event was attended by local students and youth leaders, as well as members of the LGBTQ community in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Liz Randol, a leading candidate for Mayor of Scranton, was in attendance. Honorees included the True Colors Alliance, and three students involved with the Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition, including University of Scranton student, Carolyn Pandolfo, the President of Scranton Local #1, and Wilkes-Barre Local #4 leaders, Anthony Melf and Daniel Simpson of Kings College.
True Colors Alliance received the Outstanding Program Award. True Colors Alliance is a youth organization through United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania which provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth. The students in True Colors Alliance work to end bullying in their community and create safe spaces within their schools. They have created three anti-bullying PSA videos, including an “It Gets Better” video.
Carolyn Pandolfo, whom the Keystone Student Voice highlighted as one of 13 Women for 2013, received the Outstanding Student Leader award. Carolyn is a student member of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance’s board. Anthony Melf and Daniel Simpson of Kings College, who also received Outstanding Student Leader awards, were recognized for their leadership in the LGBTQ student group at Kings College, Student Allies for Equality. Anthony and Daniel have served as the organization’s first Presidents, and have helped grow the organization from a support group to an active campus service organization which hosts events and advocates in the community.
The NEPA Rainbow Alliance is an advocacy organization which runs and supports programs for LGBTQ people within Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Photo: ShadowCatcher, Ltd. Photography