2006 Rance Palmer

Rance Palmer grew up watching his mother succumb to alcoholism. Ashamed and embarrassed, he never brought friends home, and painfully watched her return from work each day, drinking until she passed out. She somehow realized the grave consequences of her alcoholism and checked herself into a rehabilitation program. Four months into her sobriety, Rance's stepfather died unexpectedly. Rance not only lost the father he always wanted, but the financial security his stepfather provided.

In addition to the challenge of sobriety, Rance's mom was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The illness makes it difficult for her to maintain a steady job. She was forced to sell their home, move them into a mobile home, and find a way to deal with poverty. Remarkably, the bond between Rance and his mom has strengthened.

In addition to his family problems, Rance struggles with issues of identity as a young gay man, and he has been the target of insults and stereotypes. Still, Rance challenges himself to wear his identity proudly, and is successful in his many endeavors. At Patrick Henry High School, Rance maintains a 3.7 GPA, participates in Math Club, Gay Straight Alliance, National Honor Society, Student Council, Drama Club, Admission Possible, newspaper, and finds time to work and volunteer. He is passionate about performing and using performance to inspire people. He hopes to study theatre or Asian Studies at Hampshire College.