Randall D. Kelly/Kelli Randell Memorial Scholarship

When someone holds a special place in your heart, makes an impact in your life, and changes the community for the good, it is only fitting to honor their contributions. From countless benefits and fundraisers, to mentoring the lives of LGBTQ+ youth, there is no one more deserving of this distinction:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Space Coast Pride, it is with great honor to announce that the Space Coast Pride College Scholarship will now be named:

Space Coast Pride Randall D. Kelly/Kelli Randell Memorial Scholarship

Dedicated to the memory of Miss Kelli Randell, whose service, generosity and passion has changed the lives of many in the LGBTQ+ community.


Overview of Scholarship

The Space Coast Pride Randall D. Kelly/Kelli Randell Memorial Scholarship is an achievement- based award that aims to support the members of our community with their educational development. This scholarship is for Senior high school students who will be in the graduating class of 2023. This year, Space Coast Pride will award two $1,500 scholarships to two applicants.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants to the Space Coast Pride Scholarship MUST:

  • Identify as LGBTQ+. OR identify as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community (additional documents required)
  • Be a resident of Brevard County, Florida.
  • Have a minimum of 3.0 High School GPA.
  • Be accepted and plan to enroll in an accredited college, university, or technical school in the Fall of 2023.

Application Deadline

All required application materials must be submitted via email to Mary Beth Laburda at by May 1, 2023.

Application Process

Applicants must submit their application along with all required additional materials via email to Mary Beth Laburda at by May 1, 2023. Once all applications have been received, selected members of our Grant & Scholarship Committee will review the applicants’ documents and select five semi-finalists for an additional round of interviews with Space Coast Pride executive board members. All semi-finalists will be notified via email that they have been selected for an interview on May 15, 2023, along with the date and location of the interview. The recipients of the scholarship will be notified via email that they have been selected for the scholarship via email no later than two weeks after the interview.

Required Documents

All applicants are required to submit the following documents:

  • An application to the Space Coast Pride Scholarship.
  • An unofficial copy of your high school transcript.
  • A letter of recommendation from your teacher or high school counselor.
  • A personal essay (1000 words max) answering the following prompts:
    1. Describe your experience coming to terms with your LGBTQ+ identity. Were there any struggles and obstacles that you had to confront? What did you do to overcome those obstacles?
    2. What do you think is one of the most critical issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face today? What can you do to help resolve this issue?
    3. Which figure of the LGBTQ community do you look up to, and why do you look up to them?

Applicants who identified as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community must also submit one of the following document:

  • A short essay (300 words max) describing why you consider yourself as an ally to the members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • OR a document that shows that you have completed a minimum of 20 hours volunteering for LGBTQ+ causes.

Selection Criteria

Scholarship recipients are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence and potential.
  • Commitment and service to the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Ability to represent the value of Space Coast Pride.

All information provided by the applicants will only be used solely to select the recipients for Space Coast Pride Randall D. Kelly/Kelli Randell Memorial Scholarship. In other words, we will not be sharing any personal information of our applicants to any third party. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Mary Beth Laburda at


A Tribute to Kelli Randell

On June 28, 2020, our community suffered the tragic loss of a legend. What is a legend, and how do you adequately express the qualities of a life well-lived?

Randall David Kelly, better known to us as “Miss Kelli Randell”, exemplified a life of full of humanity, humor, generosity, grace and passion. A truly “one of a kind” person, who was a beacon of love and light, both on the stage and off. Every aspect of her amazing life carried the message of love and unity, and it showed.

For over 30 years, Kelli gave selflessly by entertaining countless fans-young and old-gay and straight-on the Space and Treasure Coasts, central Florida, and across the nation, bringing love and laughter wherever she went.

It is estimated that Kelli raised over 1.5 million dollars over the course of her career. It is well known that whenever someone needed support, Kelli was the person to call. She hosted, organized, performed in numerous benefits, pageants, and fundraisers in support of the LGBTQ+ community-from HIV/AIDS events to memorial celebrations in the aftermath of the PULSE tragedy. She also helped to raise money for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Irma, and for survivors of cancer.

Although her kindness for all was apparent, it is no secret that Kelli held a special place in her heart for children, and she gave her time and talent to raise money for children’s charities, including Toys for Tots. Kelli was most proud of her work in hosting an annual fashion show that featured and benefitted Transgender kids.

Space Coast Pride was honored to showcase Kelli’s work by awarding her our Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, for her dedication and support our LGBTQ+ community. She also served as Grand Marshal at the 2018 Space Coast Pride Festival, and graced our stage again last year as a performer-coming out of retirement.

Our lives are richer and our world is better because of Kelli. She made us laugh. She made us cry. She was a genuine, beautiful soul, and we will feel this loss for many years to come. We grieve her passing with her husband Danny-and her family, both biological and chosen.

It is time to remember and celebrate the magic and love of Miss Kelli Randell…fly high amongst the rainbows, Love.

Congratulations to our Randall D. Kelly/Kelli Randell Memorial Scholarship winners!

2023 Winner:


2022 Winners:


2021 Winners:


Jacob Gelman

Attending Brown University majoring in Political Science and Economics, Jacob wishes to use their education to give back to the LGBT+ community by gaining a spot in the policy making institutions of government and using influence to shape America to be a more welcoming place.

Raiden Puna

Raiden is attending the University of Central Florida and majoring in Political Science. By becoming a human rights attorney, Raiden aims to contribute to the LGBTQ+ community by taking cases that serve the LGBTQIA+ community and fight for equality.

Gabriel Salyer

Gabirel will attend University of Mary Washington Honors College majoring in Conservation Biology. Gabriel plans to further trans research and states, “Science brings understanding, and understanding brings acceptance, which is why I am so passionate about it.”

Zachariah Steele

Attending the University of Southern California, Zachariah aims to either become a force of legal representation for other LGBT people or, “serve as a means for proper representation on the screen, humanizing LGBT people to those still remiss in their stereotyping of us as deviants.”

Congratulations to our 2020 winner of the inaugural Space Coast Pride Scholarship:

Toby Bywater of Rockledge High School!

Besides excelling in academics, Toby is passionate about all he does. He is dedicated and eager to work along with us as the face of LGBTQ+ youth in Brevard County.

Toby will be attending Eastern Florida State College and plans to major in Hospitality and Tourism.

With great pride,
The Board of Directors of Space Coast Pride