Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship Application Period Now Open

AIDS activist Pedro Zamora. Photo courtesy NAMG

The National AIDS Memorial Grove (NAMG) has announced that the application period for the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarships opened on Friday, March 1, 2019. NAMG intends to award a $5,000 scholarship to ten recipients.

The purpose of the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarships is to support the academic efforts of young leaders who are dedicated to ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The scholarships are open to all current high school seniors and college freshman, sophomores and juniors (ages twenty-seven or younger) who have made “an active commitment to mitigating the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and taking on roles of public service and leadership,” according to the NAMG press release.

Previous recipients of the scholarship have gone on to serve in peer-education and prevention programs, as well as working in the reproductive and sexual health fields, pursuing medical careers to work with HIV-positive individuals, researching established and emerging technologies designed to mitigate the epidemic, and engaging in activism that addresses issues contributing to the epidemic.

For those who may not know, twenty-two-year-old Pedro Zamora appeared on the MTV reality show The Real World: San Francisco in 1994. At the age of seventeen, Pedro was diagnosed with HIV; from then on, he dedicated his life to raising awareness and educating his peers on what they needed to avoid infection. He captivated the nation with his openness, compassion, vitality and charisma, putting a name and face on the epidemic as he spoke openly about his sexuality, his serostatus, and his activism. Pedro’s work and life was cut short when he died of an AIDS-related illness the morning after the final episode of The Real World aired. NAMG is committed to preserving Pedro’s legacy through these scholarships.

Since 2009, NAMG has awarded a total of $250,000 in scholarships to sixty-eight emerging leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The application period opened on Friday, March 1, 2019; the application and a personal statement are due at 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, May 31, 2019; and an essay and letter(s) of recommendation and academic transcripts are due at 5:00 p.m. PST on Friday, June 28, 2019.

The National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is dedicated to providing, in perpetuity, “a place of remembrance so that the lives of people who died from AIDS are not forgotten, and the story is known by future generations.” The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarships is one way that NAMG tries to help create and support the next generation of HIV/AIDS leaders as they pursue their education and careers.

More information about the scholarships and about NAMG’s other programs, log on to

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Editor at Large, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a thirty-eight-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his fiancé Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.