Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

Trans woman works to create Transgender College Fund

Rae Raucci

Rae Raucci

A transgender San Francisco woman is working to create a Transgender College Fund that would award $500 educational support grants to trans youth ages 18 to 24.

Rae Raucci, who recently launched a Gofundme campaign with a goal of raising $200,000, hopes to deliver the first grants either during the Trans March in June 2017 or Transgender Day of Remembrance in November 2017.

Raucci said she came up with the idea after forming an emergency fund a couple years ago to help two young trans women find supportive housing.

“Try as I could, I could not convince the girls to apply for college,” she wrote in response to emailed questions from the Bay Area Reporter. “They simply did not believe that investing in their education would make a difference. This is one reason that I believe that a grant that is tied to a completed college application will help. I believe that only if enough trans youth enter the higher educational system that we will have a healthy representation for what trans people face in the present and the future, especially pernicious treatment like ‘bathroom bills’ across the nation being enacted just to strip trans people of their civil rights.”

Raucci, who’s in her third year of law school and clerking in Supervisor Jane Kim’s office, said she was also inspired by the deaths of Leelah Alcorn, a trans teen who killed herself in 2014, and Amber Maxwell, a young trans woman who killed herself in 2013.

The two “are perfect examples of who could be helped by the Transgender College Fund,” she said. Only if women such as Alcorn and Maxwell are nurtured and supported “can we have the next generation of professional trans people who can stand up on their feet and demand their rights.”

The Transgender College Fund will go to people “with the most need,” Raucci said. (As of Friday afternoon, the fund itself has plenty of need, as only $25 had been contributed.)

“Applicants will also have to be in the proper age range (18-24), inside the trans spectrum, and also show proof of a completed 4-year college or graduate school application,” she said.

Raucci’s planning to have a panel of at least three judges “selected from trans leaders and allies,” and she also aims to start a nonprofit to back the fund.

She welcomes questions and suggestions at

— Seth Hemmelgarn, June 10, 2016 @ 6:00 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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