Point Foundation Announces 36 New Higher Education Scholarships


LOS ANGELES, Calif.Point Foundation (Point) is awarding new scholarships to 36 students who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership in their communities, despite facing obstacles such as bullying and financial hardship. Point is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students. These new scholarship recipients join 47 current undergraduate and graduate students for a total of 83 Point Scholars who will receive financial assistance and programmatic support for the 2015 – 2016 academic year. [pullquote]“Point provides our scholars with guidance by pairing them with caring mentors, as well as helping our scholars develop their confidence and professional acumen through our leadership training program. We are helping LGBTQ young people build peer and intergenerational relationships that will be there for them even after they finish school and head out into the world.”[/pullquote]

“Helping students stay in college is only part of our mission. Students also need support and encouragement to complete their degree programs,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Point provides our scholars with guidance by pairing them with caring mentors, as well as helping our scholars develop their confidence and professional acumen through our leadership training program. We are helping LGBTQ young people build peer and intergenerational relationships that will be there for them even after they finish school and head out into the world.”

Notable facts about the 2015 Class of Point Foundation Scholars:

  • 50 percent represent traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.
  • 47 percent were born or raised in the South.
  • 36 percent identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.
  • 28 percent are the first-generation in their family to go to college.
  • 22 percent have chosen STEM fields of study.

Detailed biography information on each new Point Scholar is available online, and a full list is included below.

Point received almost 2,000 applications for scholarships during the application period from November 2014 through January 2015. The rigorous selection process required candidates to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement, and financial need. Attention was also given to students who have lost the social support of their families and/or communities as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Point announces its new scholar class annually in June in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month.

As Point Scholars, students agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and give back to the LGBTQ community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. The scholars also benefit from internship opportunities arranged by Point related to their fields of study. After graduating, Point Scholars become part of the organization’s growing alumni network, connecting them with caring individuals and professional contacts throughout the nation.

Point awarded its first eight scholarships in 2002 and has since invested more than $18 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.

Current Named Scholarships generously being supported are Allan Gilmour & Eric Jirgens, Calamus Foundation, Estée Lauder Companies, HBO, HSBC (four scholarships), Janssen Therapeutic (three scholarships), Kevin Hummer, KPMG, Larry King/Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Minton-Spidell, Motorola Solutions, NBCUniversal, Point Honors, Rand Skolnick, Rim-Freeman, Rosen Goertz, Took Trust, Toyota Financial Services, Voices On Point, Walter M. Decker, Wells Fargo (ten scholarships), and William J. Levy.

The 2015 Point Scholars, including their hometown, degree being pursued, area of study, school, and Named Scholarship (where applicable) are as follows:

Adrienne Adams; Las Vegas, NV; BA; critical theory & social justice; Occidental College; Voices On Point Scholar.                          

Erick Aguilar; Mount Olive, NC; BA; public policy/Latin American studies; Duke University.

Jack  Andraka; Crownsville, MD; BS; bioengineering; Stanford University; Motorola Solutions Point Scholar.

Sarah Bacot; Bay St. Louis, MS; JD; law; Harvard Law School.

Tiffany Barillas; Los Angeles, CA; MBA; business; Columbia Business School; KPMG Point Scholar.

Tara  Benesch; Falls Church, VA; MD; medicine; University of California, Berkeley/University of California, San Francisco; Walter Decker Point Scholar.         

Chanda Brown; Feura Bush, NY; JD; law; Harvard Law School; Took Trust Point  Scholar.

London Cluff; Nauvoo, IL; BA; international relations; University of Pennsylvania.

Atticus DeProspo; Goshen, NY; JD; law; University of Alabama Law School; William J. Levy Point Scholar.

Brittany Ellenberg; La Porte, TX; JD; law; University of Chicago Law School; Toyota Financial Services

Angelique Gonzalez; Farmingdale; NY; BS; electrical engineering/physics; New York University; HSBC Point Scholar.                       

Samantha Grant; Baltimore, MD; Ph.D.; psychology; Adler University.     

Siche Green-Mitchell; Portland, OR; M.Ed; school counseling; Lewis & Clark College.

Lauryn Hansen; Salt Lake City, UT; BS; metallurgical engineering; The University of Utah.

Casey Hoke; Louisville, KY; BS; landscape architecture; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Wells Fargo Point Scholar. 

Julia  Horwitz; Manhattan Beach, CA; BA; English; Brown University; NBCUniversal Point Scholar.

Matthew Kaplan; Phoenix, AZ; BA; history; Duke University.

Brian Kaplun; Los Angeles, CA; BS; human biology; Stanford University; HSBC Point Scholar.              

Lindsey Kirkham; Boise, ID; BA; public health; University of Washington, Seattle.

Marcus Lee; Charlotte, NC; Ph.D.; political science; University of Chicago; Wells Fargo Point Scholar.

Jose Lopez; Palmdale, CA; BA; political science; University of Pennsylvania.

Gabriel Maffuz-Anker; Houston, TX; BM/BA; violin performance/linguistics; Rice University; Wells Fargo Point Scholar.                                 

Shayle Matsuda; Evanston, IL; Ph.D.; marine biology; University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Jay “Jay” Moore; Houston, TX; BS; microbiology; Oklahoma State University.

Joan  Mosyjowski; Hartville, OH; BA; sociology/political science; Bowling Green State University.                       

Brit Ouchida; Milwaukie, OR; DPT; physical therapy; Eastern Washington University.     

Skylar Pardue; Baltimore, MD; BS; mathematics; University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Dani Planer; Atlanta, GA; BA; critical social thought; Mount Holyoke College.

Sydney Roberts; Bend, OR; BA; political science; Duke University.

Kevin Robertson; Roswell, GA; MD; medicine; The Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University; Janssen Therapeutics Point Scholar.

Lane Rosen; Cary, NC; BPS; baking & pastry arts management; The Culinary Institute of America; Point Honors Scholar.                                

Mia “Tu Mutch” Satya; West, TX; BA; public policy; Mills College; Rand Skolnick Point Scholar.                        

Julian Turner; Paradis, LA; BS/BA; biomedical engineering/Spanish; University of Southern California; HSBC Point Scholar.               

Ibrahim Vicks; Philadelphia; PA; BA; strategic communications; Temple University; Estée Lauder Point Scholar.

Kylie  Aquino
Waddy; Chicago, IL; MBA; business; Yale School of Management; HSBC Point Scholar.

Landon “LJ” Woolston; Miami, FL; MA; social work; Florida International University; Calamus Foundation Point Scholar.

Detailed biography information for the entire 2015 – 2016 Point Scholar class is available online.

About Point Foundation: Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.  Since 2001, Point has invested more than $18 million in the education and support of Point Scholars, making it the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. The Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training. pointfoundation.org | facebook/pointfoundation | twitter/pointfoundation | instagram/pointfoundation.

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