Point Foundation announces higher education scholarshipsEntertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Friday, June 20th, 2014
LOS ANGELES, — Point Foundation (Point) has announced 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-granting organization for lesbian, 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.”
Notable facts about the 2014 Class:
- 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 received more than 2,100 applications for its scholarships. The rigorous selection process requires that candidates demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and financial need. Attention is paid to students who have lost the financial and social support of their families, as a result of revealing their sexual orientation or gender expression. Point announces its new scholar class annually in June to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month.
Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and to give back to the LGBTQ and allied community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. Every 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 – of caring individuals and professional contacts throughout the nation.
Point Scholars and Point Alumni will meet July 24 – 27 in Boston for Point’s annual Scholar & Alumni Leadership Conference. Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in professional sports, will receive the Point Leadership Award at the July 25 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. 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.
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