Selected as a 2018 Truman Scholar from Alabama!

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as a 2018 Truman Scholar from Alabama, a highly competitive federal scholarship for college juniors who plan to pursue a career in public service. The Truman Scholarship provides $30,000 in funding for graduate school as well as leadership development and internship placements. This year, 59 students were selected as scholars out of 759 applicants.

Biography on the Truman.gov website:

Amanda Scott
Alabama
Georgetown University

Amanda is a junior at Georgetown University majoring in government and minoring in history with plans to pursue a career as a public interest attorney. A first-generation, low-income, non-traditional student from Mobile, Alabama, Amanda earned her GED, graduated summa cum laude from community college, and received a 1789 Scholarship to transfer to Georgetown University. Her experiences have motivated her to dedicate her life to pursuing justice for the poor and marginalized. Amanda is currently a pathways intern in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. Previously, she interned at the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law defending the right to vote for traditionally disenfranchised communities. While in community college in Alabama, Amanda founded her own organization, Mobile Equality, dedicated to advocating for equal rights for the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She also served on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Alabama where she had the distinction of being the youngest person nominated and elected to the board.

Read more on Truman.gov

Press Release from Georgetown University:

Truman Scholarships Awarded to Two Outstanding Georgetown Students
Government majors Amanda Scott (C’19) and Shakera Vaughan (C’19) are among the 59 outstanding students from 52 institutions selected as 2018 Harry S. Truman Scholars.

The students are also both members of the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP), which provides programmatic and financial support for low-income and first-generation students.

[…]
Scott hopes to use her Truman Scholarship to attend law school.

Having experienced poverty growing up in Mobile, Alabama, she is interested in pursuing public interest law and advocacy work for poor and marginalized communities.

Scott, who was home-schooled, earned her General Equivalency Diploma and then enrolled in Coastal Alabama Community College’s two-year paralegal studies program.

Read more on Georgetown.edu

Article in The Hoya:

2 Students Awarded Truman Scholarship for Community Service
Government majors Amanda Scott (COL ’19) and Shakera Vaughan (COL ’19) were each awarded $30,000 by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation for their government-related extracurricular activities and community service. The scholarship, awarded to students dedicated to implementing positive change through public service, must be used for graduate education.

Scott plans to use the award for law school, while Vaughn intends to apply hers toward a master’s degree in public administration.

[…]

Scott said that her experience with prejudice as a bisexual woman in Alabama inspired her to pursue a law degree. Scott views a career in law as a way for her to advocate for poor and marginalized communities and push for progressive change, she said.

Read more on TheHoya.com

Received James H. Faulkner State Community College Paralegal Award

On April 24, 2016, I was selected to receive the Paralegal Award from James H. Faulkner State Community College which is presented to one graduating student for outstanding scholarship in the division. My paralegal instructor, Mr. Michael Congiardo, Esq., prepared remarks and presented the award at the Phi Theta Kappa Awards Day ceremony. He said I was “an expert on the First Amendment’s separation of church and state” and I had “the rare and important quality of being able to disagree without being disagreeable” which is “missing in our political discourse today.”

Thank you, Faulkner and Mr. Congiardo!

Won $2,500 Scholarship from the Secular Student Alliance!

Winners of the 2015 Secular Student Alliance scholarship contest
Winners of the 2015 Secular Student Alliance scholarship contest
I am proud to announce that I was one of the four winners selected for a $2,500 student activist scholarship from the Secular Student Alliance!

The Secular Student Alliance’s mission is to “empower[] secular students to proudly express their identity, build welcoming communities, promote secular values, and set a course for lifelong activism.” They “envision a future in which secular students lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, thrive as valued members of society, and provide visionary leadership committed to humanistic ideals and critical inquiry.” With the help of generous donors, the Secular Student Alliance was able to host a scholarship contest for student activists.

Amanda Scott is a well-known name due to her activism over the last few years. She got her start in May 2014 by orgaizing the Alabama Rally for Secular Government at the Alabama State Capitol, which was attended by over 200 people! Following that, Amanda coordinated public testimony before the Mobile County Commission against a proposed resolution to display “In God We Trust” in Mobile Government Plaza. In spring 2015, she volunteered to be a co-coordinator and media representative for the United Coalition of Reason’s billboard campaign. Last month, Amanda was elected to the Youth Advisory Committee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She has also been heavily involved in LGBTQ rights activism. She founded her own nonprofit organization called Mobile Equality, whose first campaign was for a nondiscrimination city ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. They were also part of the fight to defeat Alabama House Bill 56, which would have allowed state judges to refuse to solemnize marriages based on religious objections. Amanda is currently enrolled at Faulkner Community College, but intends to apply for internships in Washington, D.C. focusing on public service and secular advocacy.

I plan to use the scholarship for housing in Washington, D.C. for a three month summer internship in either public service or secular advocacy. The estimate cost of dorm housing at local universities is around $3,000, so the scholarship will help me cover at least 80% of the cost. Thank you very much to the SSA and its generous donors for enabling me to pursue this critical opportunity in my career!

Be sure to check out the other scholarship winners on SecularStudents.org, and consider making a donation so that future students can have a chance to win.

Al.com coverage of American Atheists’ 2014 Activist of the Year Award

With the President of American Atheists, David Silverman.
With the President of American Atheists, David Silverman.
On April 7, 2015, Alabama Media Group / the Mobile Press-Register covered the 2014 Activist of the Year Award I received from American Atheists in recognition of my separation of church and state and LGBT rights activism in Alabama.

For her activism, Scott was awarded “Atheist Activist of the Year” by the American Atheists organization at their national convention in Memphis, Tennessee last weekend.

“Scott has received hate mail and death threats for speaking out, yet she not only stands by her convictions, but continues fighting for even more equality and freedom from religious oppression by speaking out on causes such as LGBT equality and the contraceptive mandate within the Affordable Care Act,” American Atheists communication director Danielle Muscato told AL.com.

“Scott is doing great work and American Atheists can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.”

Click here to read the article

Received American Atheists’ 2014 Activist of the Year Award

On Easter weekend, I attended American Atheists‘ national convention held at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. During the costume dinner in the Venetian Room, President David Silverman presented me with the prestigious 2014 Activist of the Year Award in recognition of my separation of church and state and LGBT rights activism in Alabama. The plaque reads as follows: “For her efforts challenging Christian privilege and fighting for equality for all Alabamans.”

Thank you to everyone at American Atheists for this honor.

Inducted into the Pi Psi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

On February 22, 2015, I was inducted into Faulkner State Community College’s Pi Psi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in recognition of my achievement in maintaining a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society of two-year colleges with over 1,250 chapters in 6 of 7 continents, and Faulkner State Community College’s Pi Psi chapter is one of the top 100 chapters. Phi Theta Kappa’s mission statement is to “recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students.” To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa “provide[s] opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.”