Stonewall Foundation establishes Sam Catalano Scholarship Los Rios Community College District

Our Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento works to cultivate LGBTQ+ leaders by building a pipeline of support for youth and young adults focused on making a difference in their communities. With support from so many of you, we have expanded partnerships by funding school district LGBTQ+ student leadership activities, a high school employment internship, and the CSUS Laurie McBride scholarships. In pursuit of our mission, we are pleased to announce the establishment of our new San Catalano Scholarship, available to students of any Los Rios Community College District campus.


And it is clear much more needs to be done! Research reveals the price of attending California colleges far exceeds support provided by financial aid. 

  • 1 in 5 community college students & 1 in 10 at CSU reported at least one experience with homelessness while in school.
  • It costs CSUS students nearly $25,0000 a year in educational expenses & students at our region’s community colleges, more than $20,000.


How can students succeed when it is so difficult just to make ends meet, struggling with housing and food insecurities? And we know that LGBTQ+ youth too often face more complicated challenges. In the words of Laurie McBride, Sam long recognized such need during the course of his long and vibrant work as LGBTQ activist and organizer:


“Sam has always been a visionary, a dreamer who could see how things should be…and he gathers people together to make it happen.  That’s how the Inland Empire Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club (of Riverside County) was formed. That’s how Stonewall Democratic Club was born.  That’s how the Stonewall Foundation was born. He saw the need. He pulled together like-minded people.  Then he’s tapping you on the shoulder with a membership application in his hand. Sam Catalano not only creates organizations; he builds the infrastructure that keeps them strong.  

In the fight for LGBTQ equality, he keeps his eye on the prize.  He has walked the halls of the state Capital and knocked on the doors of elected officials who did not want to listen.  Sam has brought his wit and wisdom and tenacity to every battle we’ve faced as a community.  He’s cheered every victory and cried with every defeat.  He has always had a clear vision of the way to a better life for all.   It’s his superpower. 

Sam is especially proud to have a scholarship named in his honor.  He knows the future of our movement, the future of our equality and basic right to exist is not guaranteed.  He knows that we need the activists of tomorrow to be strong, resilient and, above all, prepared.  Their education today is a gift we can give to ourselves, to our future, to the hope of a better world for all.”