Educating Our Community

Phoenix Pride Announces 2015 Scholarship Recipients

September 2015 Issue.

The Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program is a charitable program to provide scholarships to self-identified LGBTQ college students.

Since its inception in 2008, the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program has awarded $112,500 in scholarships, in addition to the $30,000 it will award in 2015.

Phoenix Pride announced the 2015 scholarship recipients as part of this year’s Pride Gala, which took place June 20 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas.


Katie Curiel
Dan Galloway Scholarship Recipient

Originally from Phoenix, Katie Curiel completed her undergraduate studies at Arizona State University as part of the class of 2000. Curiel returned to ASU and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in global
technology and development.

In her various roles within higher education, government
and community organizations, Curiel has
traveled to 14 countries in four continents
and worked with people from more than 100 countries.

Curiel served on various ASU international-related committees, is a facilitator for ASU’s DREAMzone Ally Certification Program, an advisor to the ASU Saudi Students Club and
Women on the Move organization, an advisory committee
member for ASU Chavez Programs, an 11-year member
of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., and continues to
serve as a youth mentor and scholarship judge for various organizations in the Phoenix-metropolitan area.

In her various roles, she advocates for the equality and well being of local and global LGBT communities, inclusive environments and policies, provides insights into the LGBT-experience, especially for immigrants and international students. She supports LGBT-identifying people from around the world through informal mentoring, support network building and local and international resource providing.

Curiel plans to apply her degree toward a career in international public service and global development that focuses on solving the problems of both global and the local communities through sustainable global development, access to quality education, immigration, human rights, intercultural competence, peace building and the development of globally experienced, globally minded multicultural communities.


Cody Holt 

Cody Holt recently completed his freshman year at Arizona State University, during which he served his fellow student residents as the vice president of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Residential Council, a student leadership organization that advocates for tens of thousands of students on campus.

Holt was also a part of the National Residence Hall Honorary, a leadership-based organization that comprises the top 1 percent of student leaders on campus. This year, he represented the ASU-Tempe delegation at the Intermountain Affiliation of College and University Residence Halls in Idaho.

Holt maintains employment as a new student orientation leader at ASU. Next year, he will serve as the CLAS council president while pursuing degrees in both global health and global studies, as well as a minor in economics.

PRIDE_JosephJoseph Florez

Originally from New Mexico, Joseph Florez received his bachelor’s of applied studies in sports medicine at New Mexico State University.

“My passion for the medical field stemmed from my early childhood,” Florez said. “I was born with a congenital birth defect, and from infancy, I had to undergo numerous surgeries and physical rehabilitation to cure my condition. It was through enduring those years of recovery that I truly learned the power of perseverance and gained an appreciation for the medical field.”

Florez then moved to Phoenix to obtain a degree in cardiovascular echosonography at the West Coast Ultrasound Institute’s School of Imaging and Nursing.

Florez serves as the president of the Student Assembly Board, as an ally and mentor to youth in the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) and conducts voluntary diagnostic cardiac exams on at-risk demographics.

“Thanks to the support of the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Foundation, it will allow me to continue to break barriers in the medical field and to assist those in our community,” he said. “I will continue to be an advocate in cardiovascular medicine as a member of the LGBT community and show that I am not only capable of curing the sick, but can do so as a proud gay man.”


PRIDE_NemanjaNemanja Demic 

Nemanja Demic is a first-generation, second year student at Northern Arizona University. Demic is pursuing a bachelor of arts in philosophy, politics and law with a minor in international relations.

Demic and his family immigrated to the United States as war refugees of the Serbo-Croatian wars in 2000.

“It is this experience that drives me to pursue higher education in order to help children who, like myself, were once lost in the dark hoping to find a helping
hand,” Demic said.

Demic is involved with the NAU Red Cross Club and the Academic Transition Programs. Off campus, Demic is the district intern for Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick of AZ-D1.

“On a more personal note, I identify as a homosexual male,” Demic said. “Through the trials, joys, and experiences of living this lifestyle I have found out not only much about myself but about society as well. I hope to change any stigmas the acronym LGBT carries while at the same time raising awareness to issues affecting gay men in the modern day.”

Allison Knuth 


Allison Knuth, also know as Allie, began her senior year at the University of Arizona this month and is pursuing a bachelor of arts degree in theatre arts, with a double minor in both Spanish and 2D studio art.

Raised by a single mom, Knuth said she has been blessed with support from both of her dads and her family members in each and every endeavor she’s embarked upon.

Knuth is an active member of the National Theatre Honors Fraternity Theta Alpha Phi where she does graphic design and marketing. As an avid supporter of the arts, her goal is to attend theatre performances, art shows, dance classes and open mic nights as frequently as possible.

As a dancer, Knuth has performed with Coco St. James at Pride events throughout Arizona and also participated in many LGBT fundraising events with various organizations.

Additionally, Knuth said she feels excited to be finding herself and her voice in her fight as an ally.


Joseph Margolias  

Born in New Mexico, Joseph Margolias moved to Arizona at age 5 and went on to attend Pinnacle High School where he was involved in a wide variety of clubs.

Margolias served as the head of the Junior Executive Board, the vice president for Key Club. He was also a member of the National Honors Society and the Spanish Honors Society where he held Junior Head of Community Service and a Conversación y Comida leadership positions, respectively. Additionally, he held the positions of treasurer and president in his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

According to Margolias, he’s always had a passion for community service and that’s why he joined so many clubs that focused on helping people.

Next year he will be attending the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, where he plans on studying accountancy and Spanish.


For more information, visit

– Courtesy of Phoenix Pride