open letter to the school, Liam writes, in part:
I tried killing myself, more than once, stopping each time before I could get any further. I dreaded having to go to school the next day. I felt alone and afraid, just hoping for someone to notice me.
I vowed that no one should have to go through the experiences that I have, whether they are LGBT or not. So I decided that I would make an example of myself. I would be the person that I wished was there when I needed them the most . . . having a safe environment for LGBT students where they don’t feel the need to self-harm or commit suicide.Not only did Liam support other students but he started a gay-straight alliance which is no simple task at a Catholic school.
According to Eyechaner, “Matthew Shepard Scholarships are awarded to students with a reputation for honesty, integrity and community service, who respect themselves and others and who conduct themselves in such a way as to demonstrate moral and ethical leadership in their own lives and inspire others in kind.” The criteria include:
- Graduating Iowa high school senior.
- GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
- ACT score of 22 or better.
- Openly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer.
- Demonstrable LGBTQ activism and community service.
- High moral and ethical standards and conduct.