The media and advertising industry is backing a scholarship in the memory of popular digital ad sales pioneer Sam smith.
Social purpose organisation UnLtd and The Pinnacle Foundation, has launched the Sam Smith Scholarship to be awarded to young LGBTIQ+ Australians in the fields of marketing, advertising, technology or communication.
The program will fund student’s education and additional support by matching them with an LGBTIQ+ mentor and providing work experience opportunities.
The program, open to all Pinnacle Scholarship applicants, has been created to encourage and help young LGBTIQ+ individuals realise their full potential and assist in overcoming personal challenges that may arise from understanding their own identity.
Smith died in 2020 following a battle with a brain tumour. He was aged 48.
His husband Mark Timmins: “As a trailblazer pushing for greater transparency across the media industry, Sam was also committed to personal authenticity. Understanding yourself, accepting yourself and respecting yourself are all crucial steps towards bringing your best self forward.
“As many of us know, that road sometimes is tough. But, rest assured, Sam is cheering us from the sidelines and this amazing scholarship enables him to do just that."
Andrew Staite, CEO of The Pinnacle Foundation: “We’re thrilled to partner with UnLtd on such an important scholarship program for the media and marketing industry. There’s so much diverse talent our community has to offer.
“Coming out is never an easy task and you don’t have to do it alone. With many LGBTIQ+ individuals often facing difficult personal challenges around their identity, The Sam Smith Scholarship will provide the support and platform to launch their careers.”
Fundraising began at the Agency Leaders Symposium. Unltd hopes to raise $200,000 to help support the scholarship program in perpetuity. To pledge your support, you can donate here: https://shoutforgood.com/fundraisers/samsmithscholarship.
Tiffany Damm, GM of Melbourne at UnLtd: “Thanks to the generosity of our industry this new scholarship is going to make a real impact on the community and our industry.
“I know Sam would be so proud of the legacy we are creating in his name. He would love that we are giving young people the chance for an education, but more importantly the chance to be supported as their true self, just like him”
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