Congratulations to Matthew Serafin (‘16A), the recipient of the first ever Terrence P. Kane Scholarship, and a student at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit university in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
You are the recipient of the first ever LGBTQ Scholarship Recipient at Marquette. Do you have any background information about this scholarship?
The Terrence P. Kane Scholarship Award is the first scholarship fund in the country designated specifically for LGBTQ+ students attending a Catholic university. While not directly affiliated with Marquette, the fund is sponsored by the Terrence P. Kane Foundation. Kane graduated from Marquette in 1986 and founded this scholarship. The award recognizes students’ achievement both in- and outside of the classroom, the application consisting of academic achievement review, professor recommendations, and an essay. Part of the process is also increasing visibility: through recognition of out student leaders on campus, the Marquette community can see people who identify differently from themselves.
What does winning this scholarship mean to you?
Winning this scholarship means a lot to me, as it is a confirmation that who I am cannot be defined to one box. Too often, I feel I’ve been made to choose who I am to fit a certain mold – some say you cannot be gay and Catholic, for instance – I reject this, and being awarded this scholarship is an affirmation of all parts of who I am.
How did your Up with People experience prepare you for the scholarship process?
I was actually on the road with UWP while applying for the scholarship, as I traveled in Cast A and B 2016. I remember working late into the night on my essay while in Jyväskylä, Finland, after saying goodnight to my host family. I was returning to school in only a few short months’ time and after hearing about the application, I knew I had to apply. UWP is a place where each person can be whoever they are, without inhibition or judgement from others. Traveling in UWP helped to give me the confidence to apply for the award.