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The Villages

Student who tried to launch gay/straight club honored for efforts by PFLAG Lady Lake

Lake-Sumter State College freshman Dana Herron is the first recipient of a scholarship from PFLAG Lady Lake. She is being awarded the scholarship because of her valiant efforts to establish a GSA Club (Gay/Straight Alliance) while she was a student at Carver Middle School. Although she was not successful, she worked very hard toward this goal including presenting her case to the school board at that time. Others after her have continued this effort, but thus far the club is a project still unfinished.

PFLAG Lady Lake, an acronym for Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is a chapter of the national PFLAG organization. Their mission is support, education and advocacy. They supported Herron in her efforts and Herron and her Mom, Heather Jablonski, have been affiliated with PFLAG ever since.

PFLAG president Peggy Garvin, left, and Merry Headman with scholarship recipient Dana Herron.
PFLAG president Peggy Garvin, left, and Merry Headman with scholarship recipient Dana Herron.

Herron said she appreciates her association with PFLAG because in her younger years it was a place she felt safe.

“I am fortunate to come from a home that has always been supportive of me, but outside my home this is a place where I really felt safe,” she said.

Herron found middle school a difficult place for a gay student.

“It was definitely different in high school. I remember the same kids that used to make fun in middle school were supportive of me in high school.  A lot changed in one summer,” she said.

PFLAG CHAPTER president and treasurer, Peggy Garvin and Merry Headman presented the $2,500 scholarship to Herron.   

Herron plans to get her BFA in Ceramics. She is interested in being a professional artist or teaching at a working studio. She plans to get her AA at Lake Sumter State College and then transfer to Marlboro College in Vermont to concentrate on sculpting. She plans to use her scholarship money to help pay for school when she transfers to Marlboro.

PFLAG hopes to make their scholarship an annual event. Most of their donations are direct donations made on their website. If you would like more information about the scholarship or the organization, go to www.pflagladylake.org.

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