Phoenix Benner in front of the gorgeous pink house in the heart of Capitol Hill, Seattle

Phoenix Benner in front of the gorgeous pink house in the heart of Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA

Phoenix Benner is a Pride Foundation Scholarship fund creator. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Pride Foundation’s Scholarship Program, Phoenix shares with us the story of the creation of this special fund.

Phoenix Benner is a long-time active member of the LGBTQ community in Seattle and also deeply involved in the native community—joining these two passions through serving on the  board of the Northwest Two Spirit Society.

Phoenix was a civil engineer with the City of Seattle for over twenty-one years and supported Pride Foundation as workplace donor. Since retiring six years ago, Phoenix has been travelling joyfully, helping friends, and volunteering in the community. Phoenix has also been working on “The Pink”—a 110 year old house that is home and well known in the neighborhood for its signature bright pink paint and decorative touches.

In 2012, Phoenix’s friend Tascha Johnson was awarded a Pride Foundation Scholarship and Phoenix attended the annual scholarship celebration for the first time.

While there, so moved by the scholar stories shared and by the collective hope and joy in all of the scholars and the members of their support systems gathering to celebrate, Phoenix instantly decided to generously create a scholarship fund at Pride Foundation.

“It was so inspiring to see all of these students being supported by the Queer community.”

Further, seeing a strong need for more scholarships, specifically for Native American students, Phoenix founded the Phoenix Benner Fund for Native Students. The fund will support queer, native, and First Nations students of any age from across the Northwest. The fund will award its first scholarships this year.

Phoenix is proud to be a part of the “great group” of fellow community supporters of Pride Foundation. “It’s important that donors support the LGBTQ community; what goes around comes around, and we can see our investment in what scholars give back.”

Christina is Pride Foundation’s Community Giving Manager. Email Christina.

Posted In: Blog, Supporting Students, Blog, Washington