In November 2017, FLAG Flag Football’s annual youth scholarship was renamed the Marc E. Lewis Youth Scholarship. Marc was notified with this news when he announced his retirement from our Board at the Fall 2017 season-end celebration. We cannot think of a more meaningful way to honor Marc and recognize his ten years of service on our Board.

The Marc E. Lewis Youth Scholarship is presented annually to a graduating high school student who has made school and/or community sports programs safer for, and more inclusive of, LGBTQIA+ student-athletes, as either a role model or ally. In line with the mission of our organization, students of all athletic skill levels, achievement, and contributions are encouraged to apply. Marc first envisioned this scholarship five years ago, and, under his leadership, we have been proud to award this $5,000 scholarship ever since.

Marc, as an educator and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth, has brought this passion to FLAG Flag Football, and, as the longest serving Board member in our history, transformed our organization.

In addition to our scholarship, Marc has envisioned and led multiple other youth initiatives over the years. Our LGBTQ Youth Field Day, first organized by Marc in 2011 as the first-of-its-kind event, in which teens throughout the state were invited to join other LGBTQ high school students for an afternoon of games, food, music, and networking, has blossomed into a partnership with the Safe Schools Program for LGBTQ Students, an anti-bullying initiative of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth. We are so proud of this collaboration and annual tradition.

In June 2017, FLAG Flag Football, under Marc’s leadership, replicated this field day at Camp Lightbulb, a weeklong summer camp in Provincetown, Massachusetts for LGBTQ young people between ages 14 and 18. Marc encouraged us to go one step further and we presented our first annual “campership,” funding a young person’s camp experience. We provided a second campership the following summer.

We hope that this scholarship will forever honor a leader and friend who has dedicated his professional life to education and personal service to improving the lives of others. A public school social studies teacher for nearly 20 years, Marc led his local teacher’s union for a decade, and prior to that, was the president of GLSEN Boston, the founding chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, an organization dedicated to ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.

This scholarship, we believe, best honors Marc’s passion, commitment, and service — to his students, our league, and community.