Point Foundation Announces Higher Education Scholarships

Point Foundation Scholars

Largest LGBTQ Scholarship Organization Will Help 80 Full-Time Students

LOS ANGELES—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-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.”

Detailed biography information on each new Point Scholar is available online

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 Collinsthe 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.

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 M.B.A., Columbia Business School. (Janssen Therapeutics Point Scholar).

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. The Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training. 

[From a News Release]


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