Point Foundation (Point) announced this morning that it is awarding scholarships to 23 students. The new scholarship recipients bring Point’s total to 80 full-time students who will receive financial assistance and programmatic support from Point during the 2014 – 2015 academic year. Point is the nation’s largest scholarship-grantingorganizationforlesbian,gay,bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)students; many of whom have faced obstacles such as bullying and financial hardship.
“Helping hardworking and bright students afford the increasing cost of a college education is an investment in a better future for everyone,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Embracing diversity in education – particularly empowering LGBTQ students – is necessary for building a more equitable and innovative society.”
Detailed biography information on each new Point Scholar is available online.
Notable facts about the 2014 Class of Point Foundation Scholars:
- 48 percent of the new scholars are people of color.
- 35 percent of the new scholars are originally from the South and 17 percent from Mountain States. (A notable increase in scholars from these regions compared to previous years).
- 30 percent of the new scholars are the first-generation in their family to go to college.
- 22 percent of the new scholars are gender-affirmed male or female,
i.e., transgender, and 13 percent are gender nonconforming.
Point Foundation’s rigorous selection process for awarding scholarships requires candidates demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and financial need. Attention is also given 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. More than 2,100 applications for scholarships were received during the application period from November 2013 through January 2014. Point announces its new scholar class annually in June in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month.
Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and to give back to the LGBTQ community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. Some Scholars also benefit from internship opportunities arranged by Point related to their fields of study.
Each Point Scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow scholars. After graduating, Point Scholars become part of Point’s growing alumni network – now 184 strong - connecting them with caring individuals and professional contacts throughout the nation.
Point Scholars, as well as many Point Alumni, will meet July 24 – 27 in Boston for Point’s annual Scholar & Alumni Leadership Conference. Scholars and alumni will participate in sessions on career planning, advocacy skills, a Q&A with New York Times best-selling author Janet Mock, a screening of TWO: The Story Of Roman and Nyro, and enjoy a walking tour focusing on LGBTQ history. Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in professional sports, will also make a special appearance at the conference July 25 to receive the Point Leadership Award at the Leadership Dinner. The award will be presented to Collins by Rep. Joe Kennedy III.
Point Foundation awarded its first eight scholarships in 2002 and has since invested more than $15 million in the programmatic support of its scholars. The amount of Point’s annual scholarship support, which includes direct financial and programmatic assistance, averages $25,000 per scholar each year.
Individuals, corporations, and organizations can support Point’s mission by designating a scholarship with a "Name" -- recognizing the donor, or an individual or institution the donor wishes to honor. Named Scholarship donors pledge $100,000 over four years to cover the financial assistance and programmatic support Point provides its scholars.
New Named Scholarships created for 2014 –15 include Rim-Freeman, KPMG, William J. Levy, Northern Trust, the Took Trust and a third scholarship supported by Janssen Therapeutics.
Current Named Scholarships generously being supported areAllan Gilmour & Eric Jirgens, Calamus Foundation, Darden Restaurants, Erickson-Zoellers, Estée Lauder Companies, George Benes MD & Michael Mallee EdD, HBO, Janssen Therapeutics, Jonathan D. Lewis, Kevin Hummer, Larry King/Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Minton-Spidell, Motorola Solutions, NBCUniversal, Point Honors - New York, Rand Skolnick, Rosen Goertz, Toyota Financial Services, Tyler Clementi, Voices On Point, Vorobek, Walter M. Decker, and Wells Fargo (ten scholarships).
The 2014 Point Scholars, including their hometown, degree/area of study and school, are as follows. (Named Scholarships noted with an asterisk):
Frederick Adenuga, Miami, FL; candidate for a B.A in Political Science/Business, Florida State University.
Erin Armstrong, Pleasant Grove, UT; candidate for a B.A in Political, Legal and Economic Analysis, Mills College.
*Ishan Asokan, Orlando, FL; candidate for a M.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. (Janssen Therapeutics Point Scholar).
*Brittney Balkcom, Humble, TX; candidate for a Ph.D. in Music Performance, University of Southern California. (Wells Fargo Point Scholar).
*Morgan Cheatham, Alexandria, VA;candidate for a B.S. in Neuroscience, Brown University. (Kevin Hummer Point Scholar).
Win Chesson, Durham, NC; candidate for a M.B.A./M.P.P., Harvard Kennedy School/Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Bridgette Davis, Eldridge, IA; candidate for a M.S.W., University of Chicago.
Gregory Davis, Detroit, MI; candidate for a Ph.D. in African American Studies, Harvard University.
*Meg Day, Redwood City, CA; candidate for a Ph.D. in Poetry/Disability Poetics, University of Utah. (Voices On Point Scholarship).
Kale Edmiston, Dayton, OH; candidate for a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University.
*Elizabeth Ehret, Middletown, NJ; candidate for a J.D., Rutgers School of Law-Newark. (Took Trust Point Scholar).
Samy Galvez¸ Guatemala City; Guatemala, candidate for a B.S. in Neuroscience, Brigham Young University.
Alexa Groenke, Bloomington, MN; candidate for a B.S. in Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.
*Marcus Lee, Charlotte, NC; candidate for a B.A. in Sociology, Morehouse College. (Wells Fargo Point Scholar).
Samir Luther, St. Louis, MO; candidate for a M.B.A., Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (KPMG Point Scholar).
*Jez Marston¸ Kingston, Jamaica; candidate for a B.S. in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Yale University. (William J. Levy Point Scholar).
Crys O’Grady, Manahawkin, NJ; candidate for a J.D., University of Washington School of Law.
*Emmett Patterson, Washington, D.C.; candidate for a B.A in Gender & Sexuality Studies/Public Health, American University. (Wells Fargo Point Scholar).
Kyle Ranieri¸Lansing, MI; candidate for a B.A in Global Affairs, Yale University.
*Jacob Rudolph¸ Parsippany, NJ; candidate for a B.A in Communication Studies, University of Miami. (Rim-Freeman Point Scholar).
*AJ Singletary, Mountain Home, AR; candidate for a J.D./M.B.A., Northwestern University School of Law/Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. (Northern Trust Point Scholar).
Erika Sommer, Lexington, KY; B.A., undeclared, Oberlin College.
*Audrey Stewart, Houston, TX; candidate for a MBA, Columbia Business School. (Janssen Therapeutics Point Scholar).
Detailed biography information on the entire Point Scholar class for 2014 - 2015 is available online.