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Community Spirit Awards

BJ Bud Spirit Award


RipplePHX works to flood the Phoenix LGBTQ+ Community with the love, tools, and information needed to reduce the impact of HIV in each of our lives – regardless of status.

John Bircumshaw Spirit Award

Karrington Valenzuela

Karrington Valenzuela, also known as Nevaeh McKenzie, is an Arizona native living in arts district of downtown Phoenix.

Howard & Patrica Fleischmann Spirit Award

TITO’s Handmade Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka continues to support nonprofit organizations, essential workers, and the neighborhoods and communities who have played an important role in their story. Each member of Team Tito’s is empowered to give back to causes, efforts, and organizations that inspire them with the overarching goal to “Turn Spirits into Love & Goodness.

Kirk Baxter Spirit Award

The TEA Phoenix

The TEA Phoenix (Teaching, Empowering, and taking Action) is the Southwest Center's Mpowerment project serving to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and Sexual Health among young queer people of color.

Mayor Phil Gordon Spirit Award

Sicarya Seville

Adonias Arevalo-Melara is 29 years old and is a Salvadorean queer immigrant who came to the US when he was 13 after losing his dad to gang violence. Right after high school graduation and after being denied a scholarship due to his immigration status, he started activism and organizing in 2009 with the immigrant rights movement, volunteering with local non profit organizations in Houston, TX and leading mobilizations to Congress for the Dream Act fight in 2010 as a member of the National Leadership Committee of United We Dream. Adonias is a DACA recipient and has spent many years volunteering for social and racial equity campaigns and carries more than 11 years of experience in community organizing, philanthropy, voter
engagement and policy development. From working in the Texas Legislature to community development efforts and leading national policy immigration efforts, Adonias has carried multiple civic engagement campaigns in more than 7 states and recently led a voter registration and engagement program that reached 750K voters in Maricopa County during the 2020 election period.

Brandon Packer Spirit Award

Gray Matter

Jericho Galindo(Gray Matter) is a Phoenix Drag Artist and Outreach Specialist of the Southwest Center. Gray won the title of Mister Phoenix Pride 2019. In doing so, he developed fundraising for the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund collaborating with volunteers and staff members achieving the $52,000 in scholarships awarded this evening. He has contributed to the first LGBT+ inclusivity training for Phoenix Art Museum, Choice Hotels, and Adult Protection Services. In 2019 he was awarded the Pride of Excellence from for outstanding service to the LGBTQI+ community and for being a champion to the Transgender community. In 2020, he was awarded Male impersonator of the year and humanitarian of the year. He believes that having a conversation can change the world, compassion, and understanding is essential for personal growth and success.

Tish Tanner Spirit Award

Vanity St. James

Our Miss Phoenix Pride 2019 the Cello Queen Vanity St James! Vanity hails to us originally from Tuscon! Being a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance and a Master in Business Administration from GCU education has always been important to her! Vanity has been performing and competing in Drag Pageantry since 2015, winning her first national title Miss Gay USofA Newcomer 2016! Vanity went on and captured the title of Miss Stacy’s taking her to capture the title of Miss Phx Pride! She has gone on to place in the top 10 at Miss Gay America and the Top 12 at Miss Gay USofA! Vanity is a graduate from UofA with a double major in Music. You can catch Vanity and her partner around the state and country showing their beautiful fur babies.

Linda Hoffman Spirit Award

Issac Roush

Issac is a student at Barrett, the Honors college majoring in nursing and earning the LGBT studies certificate. His long-term goal is to become a nurse practitioner and open a healthcare facility that provides effective and accessible care to LGBTQ+ individuals. He is so thankful for this opportunity to earn an education and make a community impact.

Easley's Spirit Award

Gloria Jacques

Gloria is no stranger to most of us in the Phoenix LGBTQ+ community. She has attended and supported just about every community fundraiser, drag show, and pageant put on by Phoenix Pride and other organizations and bars within our community. Often the first ones in line to get to their designated table, Gloria along with her sister Hope, have been supporting our local performers and establishments regularly for years. No fundraiser would be complete without their donation of award-winning baked goods, no show would be complete without their smiling faces, and no pageant would be complete without their words of encouragement and admiration. Although Hope has left us too soon, her spirit and love will live on with our community. Gloria, we honor you and thank you for your impact on all of us. The Phoenix community loves you both.

Danny Becht Spirit Award

Shawnnon Young- Bank of America

Shawnnon was Born in Jacksonville, FL and has been with Bank of America for 24 years and with our LGBTQ + Arizona Chapter member since 2012.
She has also been the LGBTQ + Arizona Chapter - Engagement Liaison for Phoenix Pride for two years A proud mom of one dog and two kids and one grand puppy! Shawnnon’s favorite thing to do is travel! Her goal in life: To be a good example for her kids and to raise them both to be just overall good humans. Shawnnon leaves us with a quote by Jason Collins. "Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it's a good place to start" - Jason Collins


Dan Galloway Pride Scholarship

Sarah Drennon

Sarah originated in Minnesota and now studies at Scottsdale Community College. She plans to attend ASU where she will be majoring in Biology. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and work everyday to save as many wild and domestic animals as possible! Sarah's life long dream is to save endangered species and to make the planet more sustainable.

Phoenix Pride

Shane Canitz

Shane Canitz is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Colorado Mesa University in 2019 with a BA in Counseling Psychology and a minor in Spanish. While pursuing their undergraduate degree, they engaged in several work and volunteer experiences which helped them realize that they wanted to focus on counseling and advocating for underserved and minority populations. Specifically, specializing in treating the LGBTQ+ community, the Latinx community, and survivors of sexual violence. To pursue these career aspirations, they will be starting their first year at a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program in the fall. While also continuing to pursue fluency in Spanish so that one day they can counsel individuals in both English and Spanish, to help reduce the mental health disparity for the primarily Spanish-speaking subsection of the Latinx population.

Pamela L Kirby Pride Scholarship

Albert Alan

From homelessness at the ages of 15 to graduating with three diverse undergraduate degrees in Physiology, Sociology, Neuroscience and Cognitive Science emphasis in Neurobiology to his acceptance into Medical School-in a Dual Degree Program. Albert Alan has become a voice for the broken and the historically marginalized. Albert has tutored thousands of students in complex subjects such as organic chemistry, cellular neurophysiology and molecular and cellular biology of neurons, was one of only 25 in the nation to receive The Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation Fellowship, and became the President of Produce on Wheels Without Waste La-Mesa Division where he joins the mission of CEO Yolanda Soto to rescue over 30 million pounds of fresh produce per produce season. Albert’s curiosity leads him to master the most complex system in nature and strive to become one of approximately 3,689 practicing board certified neurosurgeons serving a population of more than 311 million people.[1] Together as we rise, we will take others with us. We will treat, educate, stimulate, and inspire the empowerment of the next generation. The social stratifications of class, race, and gender will be eradicated in my common practice as a future Physician. “Each one teach one, Each one reach one.

Phoenix Pride

Boki Wang

Boki Wang is currently a Biomedical Engineering PhD student at Arizona State University. Her career goal is to apply scientific research and insights to improve sports training and performance for athletes and teams, with special interest in women's basketball. Through science and sports, Boki hopes to be a tiny force in improving the status and education of girls, women and other underrepresented groups, and to provide support for them to overcome adversity and break barriers.

Phoenix Pride

Aryanna Chutkan

Aryanna Chutkan is a Master’s student at Arizona State University studying Political Science with a concentration in comparative politics. They are a research fellow at ASU’s Global Human Rights research hub, and have a research focus on post-colonial statehood and legal systems. Outside of academics, they are heavily involved with the LGBTQ+ community both in Phoenix and at ASU, through organizations like the ASU Derby Devils and the ASU Rainbow Coalition and Fierce Friends of Phoenix.

Phoenix Pride

Issac Roush

Issac is a student at Barrett, the Honors college majoring in nursing and earning the LGBT studies certificate. His long-term goal is to become a nurse practitioner and open a healthcare facility that provides effective and accessible care to LGBTQ+ individuals. He is so thankful for this opportunity to earn an education and make a community impact.

Phoenix Pride

Ci’mone Rogers

Ci'mone Rogers is from the southside of Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Phoenix when she was in seventh grade. She could not bear the heat so, a family member proposed an ideal to her. Once she finishes eighth grade, then she would be able to move back to the city. That idea sparked interest in Ci'mone to the point she skipped up a class to graduate early. However, she never moved back to Chicago. Ms. Rogers realized Arizona had different opportunities than Illinois, and because she decided to stay. Now she is attending Arizona State University where she will earn a Bachelor of Arts Business (Information Security).

Phoenix Pride

Austin Fast

Austin Fast is pursuing a master's degree in investigative journalism at Arizona State's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Before moving to Phoenix, he covered the world’s largest wild salmon fishery at a public radio station in rural Alaska, wrote breaking news at a Cincinnati TV station, and taught English overseas with the Peace Corps. He likes exploring national parks, going on road trips, and trying out local breweries and restaurants. He can recite by heart all of Dorothy’s best zingers from The Golden Girls and would be happy to eat nothing but mint Oreos for the rest of his life.

Phoenix Pride

Peter Somoza

Peter Somoza is a student in the Pre-Medical Admissions Program (PMAP) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson. PMAP is a masters degree program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and is designed for students who have faced socioeconomic disadvantages, are first generation college attendees, and who have demonstrated principles of cultural competency in healthcare. Upon completion of the program, he will begin medical school next summer. His goal is to become a psychiatrist and provide medical and psychiatric care to underserved populations within Arizona. He has special interest in working with the LGBTQ and Latino communities, both of which are in desperate need of culturally competent providers. He believes his unique background and experiences will help play a role in addressing healthcare disparities in Arizona, as well as positively affect the lives of the diverse patients he will serve. Diversity is immensely important and research has shown that having providers who share similar experiences, such as being LGBTQ, positively affects patient outcomes. It is also essential that health care professionals resemble and embody the populations in which they serve, in order to advocate for public policies that benefit this community. He believes as a future psychiatrist, he will be able to further assist this community by treating, educating, and advocating from both a personal and professional standpoint, while also adding to the diversity of the profession. He looks forward to paying it forward in the future by advocating for the LGBTQ community in health care and public policy.

Phoenix Pride

Anthony Soliz

Anthony Soliz, has always done everything they can to be a hardworking and dedicated person, Its why they took advantage of the many opportunities offered to them. In high school Anthony took a great interest in their GSA and strived to make it better every year and was also involved in Student Council and DECA. Anthony wanted to take advantage of the experience these amazing clubs offered, while also being a member of the Varsity Swim Team all 4 years of HS, being named Captain both Junior and Senior Year! Anthony is attending ASU this Fall and plans to continue to be active both with GSA Clubs and the LGBTQ+ community while majoring in Supply Chain Management, aiming to double major in Finance.

PGFFL/Swire Coca-Cola Pride Althetic Scholarship

Alex Barraza Leon

Sergio Alexander Barraza Leon, Alex, 25 is currently majoring in Computer Science, with a high interest in game and programming development here at Arizona State University. Alex is a first-generation college student! In their free time they perform in drag by the name of Azula and you can catch them regularly throughout the valley. Alex identifies as a proud gay man, immigrating from Mexico at the age of 4, and became a resident in the 6th grade. In 2014, Alex and his Mother became United States Citizens!

PGFFL Pride Althetic Scholarship

Jeremy Andia

Jeremy Andia, 25 years old and a senior at Arizona State University. South American, his mother from Peru and his father from Chile. He enjoys reading, movies, and family and friends time. Graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Studies Degree, and will be continuing his education into Optometry School! Attending Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton, CA. Andia is beyond excited to being continuing his dream and his education. After the 4 year program and once licensed, his dream is to open his own Eye Office.