Scholar Class – 2010
Derek grew up in the small town of Forsyth, Montana, with his twin sister and single mother and her boyfriend. During the first semester of his freshman year, he was outed by his twin without his knowledge. Despite a few negative initial reactions, he worked to help his family and friends understand his identity. He gained the acceptance of his peers and with the support of his school behind him, Derek took the initiative to take on leadership positions within his school and community. His greatest successes were found in Business Professionals of America, a student organization focused on preparing students for business careers. Being elected to both state and national office as an openly gay student, Derek proved that there is a growing acceptance of LGBT individuals. With these positions, he hoped to maintain and spread the accepting environment within his own school.
Derek will be attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. He plans to double major in Business and Political Science. While attending, he will also be serving as the National Vice President of Business Professionals of America. During his time at Penn, he hopes to become involved both inside and beyond the LGBT community in order to help people understand the common misunderstandings surrounding sexual orientation and gender expression. Upon graduation, Derek plans to pursue a business career while maintaining an active involvement in the political realm with hopes of running for office later in life.