Spirit of Matthew Award

The Matthew Shepard Foundation recognizes the need, as an organization, to seek out and honor the students who stand for what is right, and who further the work of the Foundation by teaching diversity, acceptance, and understanding through their words and actions. This year, and for many years to come, we are seeking to honor such students at our annual Matthew Shepard Foundation Honors Gala with the Spirit of Matthew Award 2016.

Matthew is remembered by family and friends as a person who was absolutely unwilling to let the world’s powers and leaders settle for less than what their people and the human race deserved. He saw an endless amount of work yet to be done for human rights and human dignity and never hesitated to share his thoughts and aspirations with anyone he might meet. He never doubted he could play an important role in changing a person’s life for the better. The Spirit of Matthew

Award was established in Matt’s name in an effort to encourage the restless, creative, impatient desire for change that Matt showed in his all too brief life.

Are you an outstanding youth doing great work within your community?

Do you know of an outstanding youth in your community?

Key qualifications

– 13-24 years of age

– Identify as LGBTQ or Ally

– Strive to make your space (and the space surrounding you) safe for others

– Believe in the work of the foundation and embrace the ideals of diversity, acceptance and understanding

– Write an essay for MatthewsPlace.com

– Willingness to speak to the media about your work

– Able to provide a brief description of ‘Why’ you (or your nominee) is deserving of this honor

– Able to attend the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Honors Gala in Denver, Colorado on October 8, 2016 (all expenses paid)

To nominate a young person you think deserves the award, email josh@matthewshepard.org with 500 words about the work the young person is doing as well as the nominee and nominator’s contact information.


Previous Recipients