Meet the 2018 Spirit of Matthew Award Winners!
Drew Adams is a transgender high school senior from Ponte Vedra, FL, who is committed to LGBTQ advocacy at the local and national levels. He serves as his high school GSA’s president and raises money for Northeast Florida’s LGBTQ youth outreach, JASMYN, to which he also donates food, toiletries and school supplies. Nationally, Drew serves as a youth ambassador and advocacy volunteer for The Trevor Project, a youth social media ambassador for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator for Point of Pride. On the legislative side, Drew lobbies for the Equality Act by visiting with his Congressional representatives and their staff. Additionally, Drew has spent years fighting to change his school district’s bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive, and the fight is still ongoing. Drew is an International Baccalaureate student and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic, and he hopes to go to medical school and become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in transgender health. For fun, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creates sculpture art and plays the piano.
Ose Arheghan, 18, is a nationally recognized LGBTQ youth advocate. They work to ensure the rights of queer people of color and individuals with other marginalized identities. Last year, they served as GLSEN’s National Student Advocate of the year for their activism both through journalism and political advocacy. Arheghan is currently working towards a dual degree in Political Science and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University as a Morrill Scholar. Morrill Scholars are brought to the university to promote diversity and inclusion through organizing and advocacy. They are also currently serving their second term as a Student Organizer with Advocates for Youth, a DC based sexual health and reproductive justice nonprofit that empowers youth to make change in their own communities. They have been featured in The Root, NBC, MTV News, and various other new outlets for their advocacy and activism in the past year. Arheghan also worked to better the lives of African-American students in Cleveland by co-founding the first high school junior youth council chapter of the NAACP that Northeast Ohio has seen.