Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $5,000
Awards Available: 25
Award Deadline: Jul 15, 2024

Dedicated to continuing Pedro’s legacy, the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship supports the academic pursuits of young activists working in their communities who carry Pedro’s torch forward. These young activists pursue a bold vision: never again will a community be harmed because of fear, silence, discrimination, stigma, or hate.

The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship strives for equity across all lines. From increasing scholarship offerings to HBCU and HSI recipients to expanding visibility for LGBTQ+ students, this scholarship strives to ensure that young activists from all walks of life have the opportunity to carry Pedro’s torch forward and make a difference in their communities.


This Scholarship celebrates and supports young people who are doing work inspired by (or similar to) Pedro’s health and social justice activism. This work is not exclusive to HIV/AIDS! If your work is change-making in other areas of social justice and health justice, this scholarship is probably for you!

The scholarship is open to current or incoming undergraduate students (ages 27 and younger) enrolled in a U.S. community college or four-year university. Since 2009, more than $600,000 has been provided in financial support to 154 scholars through the generous support from Gilead Sciences and other partners.


For all recipients of the Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship, the National AIDS Memorial offers a free and optional AIDS Memorial Quilt Campus Display Program. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is already being displayed on various college campuses, including those attended by Pedro Zamora Scholarship recipients and other targeted campuses (e.g., HBCUs and HSIs). Through the creation of our 'Quilt Campus Display Turnkey Package', students can easily request to have a block of the Quilt (includes six Quilt panels) delivered and set up at their campus. Through this program, we intend to ensure that the AIDS Memorial Quilt reaches more institutions of higher learning each year around the country. These campus Quilt displays will increase our Scholarship recipients' connections to our programs while raising awareness of the history of HIV/AIDS, and the AIDS Movement, among other young students.

When the National AIDS Memorial launched the Scholarship in 2009, we looked to young activists to tell us how their career choice would impact the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. As the program grew, we saw how more and more of our scholars worked at the intersection of health and social justice in a variety of ways.

Moving forward, we are looking to grow our Scholarship program to embrace a broader interpretation of 21st century public health and health justice issues. Examples of a scholarship recipient’s work may include, but are not limited to:

  • HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment, access and activism
  • Public health and health justice
  • Reproductive health
  • Serving in peer education, prevention, and community resource programs
  • Racial justice
  • Immigrant rights
  • LGBTQ+ equality and rights
  • Environmental justice
  • Drug policy and drug sentencing reform
  • Employment and economic justice issues
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Technology innovation that supports justice work


The Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship is open to all current high school seniors and first-year college students, sophomores and juniors (ages 27 and younger), including those who are finishing their Bachelor’s degree. Our scholars' academic, extracurricular, or career pursuits are consistent with the goals of the Scholarship program, demonstrate an active commitment to community justice work, and take on public service and leadership roles.

Please note: this Scholarship celebrates and supports young people who are doing work inspired by (or similar to) the late health and social justice activist, Pedro Zamora, but it is not necessarily just about HIV/AIDS. If your work is change-making in other areas of social justice and health justice, this scholarship is probably for you!

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