Chely Wright Scholarship Honors Brother of Bullied Gay Teen
Earlier this year, Chely Wright published her coming-out memoir, 'Like Me' and released the critically-acclaimed album, 'Lifted off the Ground,' produced by Rodney Crowell. Since that time, the singer has also pledged her support of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community by founding and serving as spokesperson for the non-profit organization Like Me, which is designed to help provide assistance, resources and education to LGBT individuals and their family and friends.
Chief among the Like Me organization's goals is working to prevent LGBT bullying and teen suicide, instances of which have dominated the media throughout 2010. In October, Chely told CNN talk-show host Larry King that she had been the target of bullies in high school and had even experienced bullying since her coming-out.
Chely was a guest on the nationally-syndicated 'Nate Berkus Show' on Wednesday (December 29), to announce that the first recipient of the Chely Wright Like Me Scholarship is Shawn Walsh. Shawn (pictured above, right, with his mom, Wendy, left. and Chely) is the brother of Seth Walsh, the 13-year-old Tehachapi, Calif. boy who killed himself after relentless bullying because he was gay.
The scholarship will be awarded to up to five individuals a year who have actively advocated or made a difference in their high school. Show host Nate Berkus also donated $15,000 to Like Me. Also announced was the Lighthouse Project. an LGBT education and community center for information, guidance and resources, to be opened in Kansas City, Mo., in 2011.
The Like Me website has been established to provide links to LGBT education and health resources and also includes a message board for those who wish to post a question and receive a reply from the LGBT community.