Scholar Class – 2012
Xinyi Ou is currently studying history and sociology at Grand Valley State University, the place where she first fell in love with the restorative powers found in academia and social justice. She is pursuing research she loves and creating the kind of change she wants to see on her campus, most recently dealing with gender neutral housing. Her love of learning and activism has always been the one constant in her life even when her difficult experiences with homelessness, sexual assault, and marginalization threatened to obstruct her path to higher education. In her sophomore year of high school, Xinyi left an abusive household to live alone and support herself. She credits her close circle of accepting friends and her many amazing mentors for her present‐day achievements. Having found a true family in her LGBTQ community, Xinyi strives to ensure that every youth has the access to the resources, education, and caring that they need to excel in whatever goals they have. Her future plans include working to better the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth through engaging them with higher education and giving them hope for a better future.