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June 26, 2022

Sarah Mason

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2022 LGBTQ Student Cohort Announced

June 26, 2022
Sarah Mason

Largest number of students selected in Point Foundation History for scholarships and support.

This June, Point Foundation is breaking its own record for the most students they will support in the forthcoming academic year. Overall, Point plans to award more than 552 scholarships and grants in the 2022-23 academic year ahead. Of this cohort, there are 70 new Point Flagship Scholars, the four-year college scholarship program, 90 new students in the Community College Scholarship Program, 274 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Scholarship students, and another 118 students will receive short-term Opportunity Grants. These newly awarded students join 74 current Scholars in Point programming, and Point is planning to select an additional 274 BIPOC Scholarship students in the early spring of 2023.

This cohort marks the first group of students who are part of Point's $1 million commitment to fight legislative oppression. The commitment is an effort to combat hate legislation around the country through increased funds for students in fields such as law and political science, as well as filmmaking, the arts, education, and journalism. 13 students selected this summer will receive the earmarked funds to continue their education and efforts to advocate for LGBTQ rights and culture.

“While we were able to select more students than ever to receive essential support in higher ed, we also saw a record-breaking need,” said Margaux Cowden, Chief Program Officer at Point.

“I’m so grateful for what we’re able to accomplish in terms of student support, thanks to donor generosity. But it’s clear we have even more opportunity to grow and help more LGBTQ students access and succeed in college.” 

This year’s awards are made possible because of the generosity of lead supporters which include (in alphabetical order): Ascential Corp, CBRE, Coach Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Creative Artists Agency, Ernst & Young, FedEx, JCPenney, Lands’ End, MacKenzie Scott, PGIM, Parametric, Synchrony Bank, Toyota, Victoria’s Secret & Company, Wells Fargo, and more. 

Announcing the New Class of Point LGBTQ Scholars 

The Flagship Scholar cohort of 2022 marks the largest student group in Point’s four-year college and university scholarship program. 42 Students have been selected from Arizona to Ohio, Texas and New York, from more than 30 different schools and 29 areas of study ranging from Urban planning to public health, screenwriting, engineering, and education.  

New Scholar, Fox Ostrowski-Guevara (he/him, they/them), said he is planning to pursue a degree in education at the University of Texas at Austin, which will be instrumental as he creates more welcoming spaces in schools. 

“Thinking back to when I was a young kid coming to terms with my queer identity, it was difficult to imagine a future in which I could not only live proudly but also thrive as an adult and serve as a figure who was taken seriously as an educator and role model (...) As an educator, one of my goals would be to serve my students as the sponsor for the school GSA in an attempt to be the ally I never had in the classroom.” 

Welcoming the New Point Community College Scholars 

The Point Community College Scholarship continues to empower LGBTQ community college students across the country to build careers, transfer to four-year colleges, and serve their communities. This year, Point is proud to announce 80 new Community College Scholars, the largest incoming class of community college students ever. With Point Community College Scholars transferring at double the national average rate, this program continues to provide LGBTQ students with the tools they need to succeed.  

Second-year community college student Monisha "Mo" Pirela (she/her) said she was unable to attend classes after a move, with no transportation to her college. The Point Scholarship program helps to make finishing school possible so she can continue chasing her dreams.  

“My goals for the future are to become one of the few Black queer women architects in this country,”  Monisha said. “(Being a) Point Scholar is super impactful in helping me to get closer to accomplishing these goals because for years I did not believe there was any help for people in my situation, and since finding Point, I have a newfound faith in what is possible for me and what can happen when we seek community.” 

106 Students Selected for BIPOC Scholarship 

The BIPOC scholarship has expanded since its inaugural class in 2021. This program centers on support for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and selects scholarship recipients twice annually. This year’s BIPOC Scholarship marks a dramatic growth in students from 2021, when the program started with 24 students. 

New BIPOC Scholar Cuauhtemoc Salinas Martell (he/him/they) will use the scholarship to pursue a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership for Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University. As a first-generation, gay DACA  Recipient, Cuauhtemoc hopes to empower future Latinx people to pursue higher education. 

“Throughout my academic and personal journey, I am realizing that my multiple intersecting identities are an empowerment tool that can mobilize our institution to better serve our students,” Cuauhtemoc said. “I am eager to continue to contribute new knowledge in higher education scholarship in the realms of transformative change, equitable access, and identity meaning-making followed by actionable change.” 

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