Terri Higa Memorial Scholarship


DEADLINE: February 14, 2022


The Terri Higa Memorial Scholarship provides financial aid to an Asian Pacific Islander lesbian, bisexual, or queer woman, or a non-binary or transgender individual preparing for a career in a technical or trade program.

Founded by APIQWTC (Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community elders), the scholarship celebrates the life and achievements of Terri Higa, a longtime San Francisco Bay Area resident and community activist. Terri owned and operated Higa Automotive in San Francisco which for over a decade was one of just a handful of women-owned auto repair shops in the Bay Area.

Terri was one of the early, dedicated organizers of the Asian Pacific Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Women’s Network, an all-volunteer, community-based organization in the early 1990s. In 1993, she co-directed the first Asian Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Retreat at U.C. Santa Cruz, which attracted API lesbian and bisexual women from all over the U.S. — with participants traveling from as far away as Canada and Great Britain.

Overcoming stiff parental opposition, Terri, in her twenties, studied automotive mechanics and graduated from Los Angeles Trade Technical College. She worked for eleven years for a gay-owned auto repair shop before she realized her dream of opening her own shop. Terri was passionate about well-cared-for cars; she loved to troubleshoot and bring ailing cars back to life. Through her business in downtown San Francisco, Higa Automotive, she continued her activism by offering discounts to senior citizens, students and employees of non-profits.

Terri loved sports, especially softball, at which she excelled. She joined the Asian lesbian women’s softball team in their inaugural 1985 season playing left field and surprised many opponents with her ability to hit and place the ball at will. The team, later called Tom Girls, won the S. F. Parks and Recreation C Division softball championship in 1986 and played in the USA National Slow Pitch Women’s Championship Tournament that same year.

In 1994, Terri served as birthing partner to Miki Adachi and became the proud godmother to Miki’s son, Michael. Terri was a lifelong learner with a great love of the outdoors especially rocks. In her free time she studied geology at local community colleges.


The Terri Higa Memorial Scholarship will award $2,500 to an Asian Pacific Islander lesbian, bisexual, or queer woman or non-binary or transgender individual pursuing an Associates of Science (AS) or Associate of Arts (AA) degree in a technical or trade career. (See below * for examples.)

The scholarship is made possible by direct contributions from a generous community of elders with the goal of sustaining the Memorial Scholarship through 2024.  Join us in donating here: https://apiqwtc.org/apiqwtc-scholarship-fund.


Please submit application materials as delineated in the general APIQWTC Scholarship “Call for Applications” and specify you wish to be considered for the Terri Higa Memorial Scholarship in your cover letter.

* AS and AA programs: Automotive Technician AS, Automotive Technology AS, Automotive Collision Repair AS, Nursery Management Specialist AS, Respiratory Therapist AS, Physical Therapist Assistant AS, Cosmetology AS, etc.

Please Donate – APIQWTC Scholarship Fund

👉 Check out this other scholarship: APIQWTC Scholarship

Past Scholarship Awardees


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