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Community Spirit Awards

BJ Bud Spirit Award


ONENTEN is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, founded in 1993, to provide unique opportunities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) youth to connect, socialize, and receive support in navigating community resources. Our services have since diversified, yet our goal is the same. We enhance the lives of LGBTQ+ youth through programs promoting self-expression, self-acceptance, and healthy life choices. We provide comprehensive programs for LGBTQ+ and allied youth ages 11 to 24. Our key programs include our Phoenix Youth Center, statewide satellite sites, housing navigation services, Camp OUTdoors, digital/virtual programs, and workforce readiness programs.

John Bircumshaw Spirit Award


David Boyles is a teacher, organizer, and general busybody who is passionate about advocating for queer youth and families and creating spaces where they can thrive and celebrate queer culture and history. He is co-founder and president of Drag Story Hour- Arizona, a member of the national Drag Queen Story Hour leadership team, an organizer of Virtual Arizona Pride, and a teacher at ASU, where he created a class dedicated to representations of queer youth in pop culture and politics. Most recently he has had the privilege to mentor the high school students of Support Equality AZ Schools as they advocate for safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ students.

Howard & Patrica Fleischmann Spirit Award


We are a locally and LGBTQ+-owned coffee shop at 4415 S. Rural Road Tempe, Arizona serving artisanal coffee, pastries, and pizzas. At Brick Road, everyone is welcome. Founders and Co-Owners, Gabe Hagen and Jesse Shank pride themselves on creating a space that is LGBTQ+ and sober-community friendly. In fact, "community," is very important to us. We all travel our own paths in life, laying one brick at a time and taking each turn as it comes. Whatever direction your own Brick Road takes you, some things remain constant. We all hope to find acceptance, community, and maybe a great cup of coffee to warm us on our journey. Our mission is to be more than just a fabulous little coffee shop. We are working hard to create a place where the community intersects, connects, and supports each other in their individual goals. For many, the recent global pandemic has been a time to reflect on how time and energy are spent and what marks an individual will leave on their family and neighbors. We knew it was time to leave the corporate world and create a legacy born out of the desire to create and cultivate community. For more visit

Mayor Phil Gordon Spirit Award


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.

Easley's Spirit Award


Thunderbird Lounge is located in the historic Wagon Wheel Building constructed in the 1930’s on 7th Avenue just north of Indian School which was once home to the Wagon Wheel Bar.

Kirk Baxter Spirit Award


Heather has been a consistent advocate, friend, and ally who has passionately supported equal civil rights, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ social movements. A social justice advocate, Heather brings agencies together to formulate a united front against structural forms of oppression that continue to plague our communities. Heather has been a leader in HIV, PrEP, HCV, and STI reduction having worked in numerous social services functions including case management, counseling, practice administration, as well as program management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Columbus State University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Florida State University. She also has her licensure in social work (LMSW). Heather currently works as the Community Liaison for Gilead Sciences but has also held roles at CAN Community Health, Iowa Department of Public Health, The Project of Primary Health Care in Iowa and in partnership with the Florida Department of Health, Big Bend Cares and the Kearney Center all focused on HIV, PrEP, STI, testing and social services for the HIV and HCV communities.
Heather has lived in ten different states and now currently lives in Chandler with her trusted companion and dog Molly or molly ann when she is in trouble!

Tish Tanner Spirit Award


Isak Hernandez, also known as Tyra Marie, is an Arizona native who has been involved in the art of female impersonation for over 15 years. Isak is an Arizona State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications and currently works for a foreign cosmetic company. Tyra is a former Miss Gay Phoenix America, Miss Gay Arizona America, Arizona Entertainer of the Year, Empress XIII of the Imperial Court of Arizona and Miss Phoenix Pride 2020/2021.

In 2019 Tyra established the “Tyra Marie Hispanic Scholarship Fund” in order to help the Latino community strive for a higher education.

Danny Becht Spirit Award


Bobbie Jo is a proud pansexual individual who has an amazing son. She has lived in Phoenix for five years now and, as soon as possible, found her place here in Phoenix's LGBTQIA+ community, volunteering for multiple organizations.
She loves the opportunity to help others and to be of service to the people, groups, and non-profits here in Phoenix.
The mission of Phoenix Pride to S.E.E. the community is very prevalent in all she does, not just the work for the Pride Organization.

Linda Hoffman Spirit Award


Johnny is originally from New York and moved to Phoenix in 2005. Through working at a local bar in Phoenix, Johnny formed a friendship that allowed him the opportunity to volunteer with Phoenix Pride. He first started volunteering in 2016 by assisting with managing the Community Stage. In 2018, he became the Community Stage Manager. Since 2019, Johnny has been the Assistant Entertainment Manager for Phoenix Pride and Rainbows Festival. Johnny has always been passionate about Phoenix Pride and its Scholarship Program.
Johnny has formed many friendships through Phoenix Pride. Still, because of friendships made during COVID and the lockdown, his appreciation and commitment to Phoenix Pride have significantly increased thanks to those individuals. He is looking forward to forming more friendships by continuing to volunteer with Phoenix Pride.



I am determined to serve as an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). With support for same-sex relationships at an all time high in the United States and over 15% of Generation Z (born 1997 to 2002) identifying as LGBT, now more than ever is the chance for change. Much of both the challenges and triumphs the movement has experienced have transpired in court. As a civil rights attorney, I would be able to advocate for all to be seen as equally valuable and equally as deserving of legal protections.


I'm working full-time this summer as a swim coach and leave in August for my college in Pennsylvania, Kutztown University. I'm going to study Information Technology/Cybersecurity and I'll be on the varsity swim team. This is such an exciting time in my life, but it is also stressful. Please know that Phoenix Pride's generous support is extremely appreciated and really helps lessen my stress so I can concentrate on my school work and swimming.


I am a 2022 Summa Cum Laude graduate of North High School’s International Baccalaureate program, with a 4.66 GPA and was also awarded the Seal of Biliteracy for Spanish. An avid reader and the co-founder of Nickel Berry Works, a publishing company, and author of its first publication, Dreamcatcher. My high school activities included National Honor Society, Phoenix Girls Chorus, Jack and Jill of America, and playing five instruments while tutoring my peers in biology, mathematics, and English, and providing childcare in my local community. I will join the University of Southern California’s Trojan family in the fall, majoring in Business of the Cinematic Arts and minoring in Spanish, all in furtherance of becoming a screenwriter/producer for film and television. My plans are to create stories that illustrate our human experience—an experience that is inclusive and reflective of our universal commonalities while still embracing and celebrating the differences that make us unique.


I’m Ajai Iyer, and I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I am a proud queer person of color, and I use they/them pronouns. In the fall, I’ll be headed to the University of Arizona to begin my premed studies with a major in Spanish translation and interpretation. Long term, my goal is to become an emergency medical physician and work for more equal care for all Arizona patients. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and crocheting. One of my favorite books is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (and my favorite film adaptation is obviously the 1995 series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle). I recently received my second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and plan on continuing my studies through college.


Hello everyone my name is Sammy Cristerna, and I am from Gilbert. I was born and raised in Arizona. Being that I am from Gilbert it can be increasingly difficult to find people like us in my community. I live in a very religious area, and it can be hard to express myself in this area however I feel it is necessary. People must know that we are here and that we are proud of our identity. Representation matters and as someone who was super involved in high school I know there are still young queer youth yearning to be seen. I am very excited to begin my studies as a Political Science major at Arizona State University and hope to become an attorney. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, hanging out with friends, and shopping.


My name is Epiphany, I am from a little town called Yuma Arizona. I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Social Work with a minor in Public Policy and Public Service. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Social Work through Arizona State University in hopes of advocating for the vulnerable and oppressed in our community.


Hi, my name is Kiara Smith. I am a bisexual female, and my pronouns are she/ her/ hers. I just graduated from Washington High School with high honors. I will be attending Barnard College at Columbia University starting this fall semester where I hope to continue to advocate for minority and LGBTQ+ rights.


My name is Riley Haveman. I’m a rising freshman at the University of Arizona looking to major in Pharmaceutical Sciences. I can’t wait to learn and take the first steps toward my dream career as a pharmaceutical researcher! I also plan on continuing my advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community through on campus organizations as well as continuing to learn about queer culture in class.


Lennon VanAusdal is a queer, non-binary 17-year-old Queen Creek High School graduate who will be pursuing a theatre arts degree for design and production. During the last four years of high school, I have encouraged education of queer history among my peers through participation in the founding of a GSA club, as well as creating open conversations about my identity and sexuality within my neighborhood, school, and community. I am honored to receive this scholarship and will carry forward in working towards inclusion and pride for the LGBTQ+ community while at university.



As a first-gen student I am really proud to be going to Arizona State University. I am majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish to help make a difference in Latinx communities and other diverse communities who lack mental health awareness. I am passionate about working with teens and youth to help spread suicide awareness and other mental health issues.



I’m native of Cottonwood, AZ, a junior pursuing a degree in health and society at Yavapai College transferring soon to an Arizona University. I’m “impassioned by injustice,” and strive to address unjust health disparities. I have traveled across the U.S. and Costa Rica studying health issues and she plans to volunteer this summer at a hospital in Guatemala. I plan to pursue a master of public health and launch a policy career fighting health injustice. I’m financing my own education, and have made dean’s list every semester.

Sidney Wooten

I will be an incoming freshman at Tufts University in the fall, graduating from Sunnyslope High School with a cumulative GPA of 3.89 while playing competitive basketball and will continue my basketball career at Tufts. My interests include playing sports, traveling the world, and spending time with friends. Last summer, I participated in a Putney youth camp, in Boston, Massachusetts, which revolved around climate change; there, I discovered an interest in making a difference and helping the environment. Among other areas of study like business and psychology, environmental science has become one of my potential majors at Tufts. My most prominent role models in life have always been my parents; the well-earned success they have experienced constantly inspires and reminds me that I, too, can be successful in a world full of confusion and competition. The lessons and instruction they have instilled in me have brought me to where I am today and will continue to push myself forward in all phases of life. After undergraduate studies, I will be attending graduate school to pursue a master's degree or Ph.D. and hopes to make a difference in the lives of others.

Community Grant Recipients