McDowell student wins award part of Hope in a Box and Born This Way foundation

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A local high school student has been chosen as one of the winners of the national “Hope in a Box” and channel kindness, Born this Way foundation.

Lee Taylor, a 10th grade student at McDowell High School, will be part of the national storytelling contest to celebrate LGBTQ inclusive literature.

The “Hope in a Box” foundation is a nonprofit organization that reaches out to teachers and students to build a safe and welcoming classroom environment for the LGBTQ community.

The “Born This Way Foundation” is a non-profit co-founded and led by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, to support the mental health of young people and build a kinder and braver world.

These two organizations tamed up to run the competition in honor of Pride Month.

Students in grades k-12 from across the country were able to share how LGBTQ inclusive books and stories have inspired them.

Taylor, along with other students, submitted essays about finding hope and being resilient.

“As many people that don’t know much about you or who you are or how you feel and when you’re able to make a connection with any piece of media. It could really help ease up some of the guilt of being queer.” Taylor said.

“For us, one of the best ways to do that is through storytelling, bringing books into the classrooms to validate the humanity of LGBTQ people and tell our story.” said Joe English, Executive Director of Hope in a Box.

Talor and others will receive a $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble as well as have the opportunity to publish essays and videos on

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