Point Foundation Announces 2010 Scholar Class

Jun 10, 2010, 06:00 ET from Point Foundation

National Organization Awards 25 New Scholarships to its Most Diverse Group Yet; All Finalists Receive Honorarium

LOS ANGELES, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Point Foundation (Point) (www.thepointfoundation.org), the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, today announced its 2010 Scholar Class.

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After an extensive six-month selection process, Point chose this year's diverse group of 25 undergraduate and graduate Point Scholarship recipients from more than 1,641 completed applications. Additionally, each of the 11 finalists not becoming Point Scholars received a $500 honorarium to recognize their accomplishments.

"Our 25 new scholars are making a difference in the community, having logged over 5,000 service hours benefiting LGBT causes and organizations across the United States," commented Jorge Valencia, executive director and CEO, Point Foundation. "We are proud of all our scholars and equally proud of those individuals who made it to the finals. Their level of public involvement speaks to our commitment that Point Scholars are making a difference within the LGBT community."

The new class of scholars is the most diverse yet in terms of age range, race and gender identity and/or expression. New Point Scholars range in age from 17 to 45 years old and people of color represent 36% of the new class. For the first time, Point will have more new female scholars (44%, up from 36% in 2009) than either male or other gender identities. The new class will also have the largest number of transgender/gender-variant individuals in Point's history (28%, up from 18% in 2009).  Finally, thirty-six percent of Point's new scholars were raised in rural environments.

"At Point, we recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion and are committed to providing a supportive and enriching environment for all our Point Scholars," said Vincent Garcia, program director, Scholar Relations & Selections, Point Foundation.

The national organization provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT individuals who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. In June 2010, a total of 66 Point Scholars will be supported in their respective colleges or universities and 96 Point Alumni will continue to pursue their life goals.

Point partners with a number of individuals and corporations in providing named scholarship awards, which are created to honor an individual or corporation. Named scholarship donors pledge a major gift of $100,000, or $25,000 per year for four years, to cover the costs associated with becoming a Point Scholar.

New named scholarships in the 2010-11 year include Joan R. Heller, Johnson & Johnson, Phyllis Mandler & Gary Elden, Point Honors Los Angeles, Point Honors New York, Rand Skolnick and an additional Wells Fargo scholarship. Current named scholarships created to honor an individual or corporation include: Allan Gilmour & Eric Jirgens, Bob Fennell, Bryan L. Knapp, Calamus Foundation, Casey Sakir, Gregory Grosh, HBO, Jan Aronson, Dr. Joan Shelley W. Fernandez, Jonathan D. Lewis, Kevin Hummer, Lawrence King/Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Minton-Spidell, Paul W. Speier, Thomas & Sara Branton, Time Warner, University of Phoenix, Walter M. Decker and Wells Fargo.  

Since its inception in 2001, Point Foundation has expanded into an organization with a staff of 12 full-time and part-time employees and an annual budget of $2.25 million, as well as an endowment of more than $3 million.

Introducing the incoming class of 2010 Point Scholars (Named scholarships noted with an asterisk):

*Kay Adam, Minneapolis, MN, pursuing a BS in Economics, Augsburg College (Wells Fargo Point Scholarship)

*Jody L. Andrade, Baltimore, MD, pursuing a BS in Nursing, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (Paul W. Speier Point Scholarship)

*Krystal Banzon, Fontana, CA, pursuing an MPS in Interactive Telecommunications (Theater Directing emphasis) at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (Dr. Joan Shelley W. Fernandez Point Scholarship)

*Derek Blechinger, Minneapolis, MN, pursuing MD and MPH degrees, University of Washington School of Medicine (Seattle) (Rand Skolnick Point Scholarship)

*Natalie Brilmyer, Sewickley, PA, pursing a BFA in Fashion Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Phyllis Mandler & Gary Elden Point Scholarship)

Brian Casebolt, Mansfield, TX, pursuing an MBA at Tuck School of Business Management, Dartmouth College

*Cara Cerise, Salt Lake City, UT, pursuing a BS in Sociology, Westminster College (Phyllis Mandler & Gary Elden Point Scholarship)

*Gene de Haan, Portland, OR, pursuing MD and MPH degrees, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. (Johnson & Johnson Point Scholarship)

*Rhys Ernest, Chapel Hill, NY, pursuing an MFA in Film Arts and Video, Cal Arts (HBO Point Scholarship)

*Matt Hansen, El Dorado, AR, pursuing a BA, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (Time Warner Point Scholarship)

*Michael Henriquez, Bronx, NY, pursuing a BSW in Social Work at the Silver School of Social Work, New York University (Bob Fennell Point Scholarship)

*Kyle Inselman, Boulder, CO, pursuing a BFA in Film Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder (Wells Fargo Point Scholarship)

*Ashland Johnson, Athens, GA, pursuing a JD in Law at University of Georgia School of Law  (Joan R. Heller Point Scholarship)

Alexia Koritz, Riverside, CT, pursuing a JD in Law, Yale Law School

Derek Livermont, Forsyth, MT, pursuing a BS in Business, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Katie Miller, Findlay, OH, pursuing a BS in Sociology, Yale University

Sarah E. Pellegrine, Madison, MS, pursuing a BSW in Social Work and a BS in Sociology, Mississippi State University

Mallory Price, Tinley Park, IL, pursuing an AM in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago

Jacob Rostovsky, Los Angeles, CA, pursuing a BA in Psychology, California State University, Northridge

Jenni Smith, Jackson, MS, pursuing an MA in Public Policy and Administration, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Mary Susman, Omaha, NE, pursuing a BA in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Jacob Tobia, Cary, NC, pursuing a BA in Political Science/Government, Duke University

Kara Toles, Clute, TX, pursuing an MD at the Davis School of Medicine, University of California

Preston Whitt, Decatur, AL, pursuing a BA in International Affairs focusing on Latin America and Spanish, The George Washington University

Tatiana Young, Austin, TX, pursuing an MA in Women's and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

For additional information on Point Foundation, please visit: http://www.pointfoundation.org.

About Point Foundation

Point Foundation (Point) is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit. Point provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT individuals who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Point provides its scholars with the financial ability to attend the nation's foremost higher educational institutions, its mentors with the singular opportunity to become role models to exceptional students, and its donors with the rare satisfaction of directly investing their resources in future generations of leaders.

Point Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization.

SOURCE Point Foundation