News release from the Point Foundation:
Helping LGBT Students Attain Higher Education Degrees, Plus Mentoring & Leadership Training
December 13, 2011 - Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, announces the opening of its 2012 application season on December 16, 2011. Students who will be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2012 - 2013 school year are eligible to apply for the prestigious, multi-year scholarships. Applications may be submitted until midnight (PST), February 10, 2012. Applications are only accepted online at:
Point’s rigorous selection process for awarding scholarships requires candidates demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and financial need. Attention is also paid to students who have lost the financial and social support of their families and/or communities as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
“It is fitting that our scholarship application period opens during this traditional season of giving, because LGBT youth have so much to give to society,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Point enables people with foresight to provide intergenerational support and guidance to the leaders of tomorrow. Investing in the education of a young person produces a more diverse and intellectually rich world for us all. We see that with our Point Alumni who are making names for themselves in their chosen fields. It is so rewarding for me whenever I meet Point Alumni who now have professional titles such as ‘Doctor,’ ‘Professor,’ or even ‘Mayor.’”
The average amount of annual scholarship support is $10,000, and the total programmatic amount devoted to each scholar by Point is between $22,000- $31,000. Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and to give back to the LGBT community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. Some Point Scholars also benefit from internship opportunities related to their fields of study.
Point’s multifaceted support for scholars extends far beyond a direct financial contribution toward the cost of their education. Each scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow Point Scholars. After graduating, Point Scholars become part of Point’s growing alumni network, connecting them with caring individuals and professional contacts throughout the nation.
In 2011, 1,769 applications were submitted, from which, 34 students were granted scholarships. The 2011 class of Point Scholars range from 17 to 37 years of age, 41% are people of color and 21% identify as transgender/gender variant individuals. There are at present a total of 71 Point Scholars currently enrolled in school. Since its inception in 2001, Point Foundation has helped make possible the education of 195 outstanding LGBT students.
During the past academic year, Point representatives have attended 35 LGBT scholarship outreach events to distribute promotional application materials to more than 3,000 organizations, including national, regional and local LGBT organizations and US-based university, college and high school groups. The Scholar selection process will begin with a thorough review of all applications that are submitted online, and will conclude with candidates having face-to-face interviews with Point’s staff and Board of Regents in April of 2012. People may also recommend a deserving student by going online to www.pointfoundation.org/recommendastudent.html.
To fund its scholarships and related programs, Point Foundation relies on donations and fundraising events.
Point’s Named Scholarship Program allows individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations to support Point’s mission of valuing education, leadership and diversity by honoring the name of an individual or organization. A Named Scholarship is a commitment of $100,000 over four years.
Five new Named Scholarships were created in 2011: the Erickson-Zoellers Scholarship established by longtime Point supporters, Chris Erickson and Joe Zoellers; the Vorobek Scholarship established by Matt Voorhees and Chris Dorobek; generous corporate supporters Motorola Solutions and Janssen Therapeutics each established a Named Scholarship; and the Tyler Clementi Point Scholarship, which was created by Point with the cooperation of the Clementi family to honor Tyler’s memory and further the efforts to end the bullying that many LGBT youth face within educational environments.
About Point Foundation
Point Foundation (Point) is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit. Point provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT individuals who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Point provides its scholars with the financial ability to attend the nation's foremost higher educational institutions and its donors and mentors with the rare satisfaction of directly investing their resources and time in future generations of leaders. Point Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization.