Andrew Cray Memorial
Higher Education Fund


The Andrew Cray Higher Education Fund (HEF) was originally founded as the Andrew Cray Memorial Scholarship in 2016, with the first scholarship being awarded in May of 2017. The goal of the HEF is to assist LGBTQ+ youth in receiving secondary education to help them achieve greatness, follow their dreams, and help this world become more accepting of all its children, just as Andy’s work did. His family and friends would like to continue Andy’s work by helping to provide the next generation of LGBTQ+ individuals the opportunity to achieve their dreams and act as advocates for equity, equality, and justice.

More information, including eligibility guidelines and application deadlines, is available below and an overview can be found via this flyer.

Donations to the fund can be made through this portal.

Any queries should be directed to

Applications are open for 2023 -

Apply by April 2, 2023!

Andrew Cray - Champion of Change

Andrew Cray was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and attended Chippewa Falls Senior High School. He excelled academically and was greatly involved in the music department, playing drums and clarinet in addition to other instruments as well as receiving the John Phillip Sousa award. After graduating as valedictorian in 2004, he attended Northwestern University and received his bachelor’s degree with honors. He then went to University of Michigan Law School where he received his law degree. He ultimately found his calling as an advocate for the LGBTQ community in Washington D.C., where he fought against healthcare discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Andy transitioned during college and began his career with the National Coalition for LGBT Health. He was a law fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force in 2009, writing recommendations for inclusion of LGBTQ health care issues in health reform legislation. He served as a health law and policy fellow at the National Center for Transgender Equality—working to ensure transgender individuals had the rights to access to affordable and high-quality health care. Andy helped found Trans Legal Advocates of Washington, an organization that exists to train attorneys on legal issues facing the transgender community and which conducts free legal clinics for trans clients.


As Policy Analyst for the Center for American Progress’ LGBTQ Research and Communications Project in 2012, Andy researched LGBTQ engagement in state enactment of the Affordable Care Act. He led efforts to create health insurance policies inclusive of transgender people in multiple U.S. states and the District of Colombia and acted as a founder of Out2Enroll, an initiative connecting LGBTQ people and their families with health insurance coverage. According to Paulette Aniskoff, former director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, his contributions to the Affordable Care Act were integral to the successful implementation of the law.


In August of 2014, after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, he married Sarah McBride. He passed away four days after they were married at the age of 28. In October of that year, President Barack Obama posthumously gave him the award of “Champion of Change” for his contributions to LGBTQ health. The National Center for Transgender Equality created a Law Fellowship and Award in his honor.


Andy is remembered by his family and friends as a fun-loving guy who adored his two fat cats and enjoyed robots, Star Wars, bow ties, his family, and his wife Sarah McBride—who is the author of Tomorrow Will Be Different and currently serving as a State Senator representing Delaware’s First State Senate District. The Andrew Cray Higher Education Fund is a way for those near and dear to Andy to honor his memory and continue his work for future generations.

Scholarship Opportunities
Funding Sources:


The HEF is funded entirely by donations from individuals and organizations who support the Fund’s mission to continue Andy’s work by helping to provide the next generation of LGBTQ+ individuals the opportunity to accomplish their goals and act as advocates for equity, equality, and justice.

If you would like to help the Fund's work continue and support aspiring LGBTQ+ students, please consider donating today through this portal.



  • The Andrew Cray Higher Education Fund (HEF) is available to graduating high school seniors who identify as LGBTQ+, who are planning to enroll in an institution of higher education such as a university, college, or technical school.

  • Applicants should have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, be in good academic standing for graduation, and demonstrate leadership through extracurricular activities and involvement in LGBTQ+ advocacy.

  • Applicants must live in Northwestern Wisconsin.

  • Applicants must have enrolled in, or plan to enroll in and attend, an institution of higher education after graduation from high school.


Scholarship Amount/Disbursement:


The number and dollar amount of scholarships to be given annually will depend on number of applicants and funds available; in 2022, the HEF awarded a total of $10,000 to several students from high schools in the Chippewa Valley. Higher Education Fund checks will be sent directly to recipients’ educational institution of choice no later than one month after the beginning of the institution’s academic year.


Application Process/Deadlines:


  • Students will be able to apply for the Higher Education Fund by filling out and submitting a Google form, which includes submission of a high school transcript and description of extracurricular activities and LGBTQ+ community involvement. 

  • Interviews with potential recipients may be scheduled after submission of the application if the HEF selection committee deems it necessary.

  • The 2022-2023 academic year scholarship form will be open for completion beginning Monday, October 10 2022; the link to which can be found through this link

  • The deadline for submissions will be Sunday, April 2, 2023; recipients will be informed by Sunday, April 30, 2023. 

  • Applicants requiring a paper form, additional accommodations to complete their HEF application, or with any questions can email

Max Davis (2).jpg

2022 Recipients

Max Davis

Altoona High School

Max was a member of multiple school extracurricular groups including Diversity Club, Show Choir, and Forensics. They won the annual statewide Poetry Out Loud competition in March of 2022. During their time in Diversity Club, they helped open the club up to middle school-aged students.

Max will be attending the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire this fall, where they plan to major in biology.


Noah Johnson

Chippewa Falls Senior High School

Noah was an active member of the Chi Hi GSA, of which he helped triple the membership in his freshman year. He was a part of the Student Equity Committee, which is dedicated to discussing and addressing issues of discrimination specific to Chi Hi.

Noah will be attending the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire this fall, where he will be pursuing a degree in secondary education.


Andy Sirianni

Eau Claire Memorial High School

Andy has been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the Gender and Sexuality Awareness club at his school. He is currently working to earn Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts by funding and leading the implementation of a trail system at Mt. Simon. Andy’s GSA advisor at Memorial High School describes him as “intelligent, wise, and kind” and states that he “stands out for his extensive extracurricular involvement in school and volunteer activities.” He hopes to help enact positive change in the health care experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals by becoming a gender-affirming care provider.

Andy will be attending the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this fall, where he intends to study biology or psychology.


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