Point Foundation Announces 2013 Scholar Class

Higher Education Scholarship Awarded to 26 LGBTQ Students

Jun 19, 2013, 08:00 ET from Point Foundation

LOS ANGELES, June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Point Foundation (Point) will award scholarships to 26 undergraduate and graduate 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 of merit. The 26 new scholarship recipients join 52 current Point Scholars, totaling 78 students who will receive financial assistance and programmatic support during the 2013 – 2014 academic year [biography information on Point Scholars can be found online].

Every Point Scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in training to develop leadership skills. Point Scholars give back to the LGBTQ community by designing and completing an individual community service project each year. After graduating, Point Scholars become part of Point's alumni network – 165 strong at present – connecting them with caring individuals and professional contacts throughout the nation.

"For many students – especially LGBTQ young people – cost is not the only thing keeping them from achieving a higher education degree," said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation.  "It is also a crisis of confidence. They need to see that the LGBTQ community, and society as a whole, encourages and supports their aspirations.  Point Foundation Scholars are not only our community's future leaders, but they are also role models and inspiration for LGBTQ young people right now."

Notable facts about the 2013 Point Scholars:

  • 46% are people of color - the highest percentage ever.
  • 38% are the first-generation in their family to go to college.
  • More than half were either born or are living in a rural environment.
  • Most popular academic programs: business, medicine/health, law, social sciences (sociology, politics, and economics), science, and social theory.

Since 2002 Point Foundation has invested more than $15 million in the programmatic support of its scholars.  Annual scholarship support extends beyond a direct contribution toward the cost of the scholar's education, and includes both financial and programmatic assistance that can total as much as $25,000 annually.   

Individuals, corporations, and organizations can pledge $100,000 over four years to create a Named Scholarship. New Named Scholarships for 2013-14 include support from Janssen Therapeutics, (their second Named Scholarship), the Calamus Foundation, Estee Lauder Companies, and Seth Rosen and Jacob Goertz.

Current Named Scholarships exist thanks to the continued generosity of: Allan Gilmour & Eric Jirgens, Bob Fennell, Darden Restaurants, Erickson-Zoellers, George Benes MD & Michael Mallee EdD, HBO, Joan R. Heller, Jonathan D. Lewis, Johnson & Johnson, Kevin Hummer, Larry King/Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Minton-Spidell, Motorola Solutions, NBCUniversal, Paul W. Speier, Phyllis Mandler & Gary Elden (two scholarships), Voices On Point, Point Honors - New York, Rand Skolnick, Toyota Financial Services, Tyler Clementi, Vorobek, Walter M. Decker, and Wells Fargo (ten scholarships).

2013 Point Scholars (home state, school attending and if a Named Scholarship):

Saidzhan Abdul, Kyrgyzstan, University of Pennsylvania

M. Bryan Blaise, Leesburg, FL, Columbia Business School   

Brett Bruhanski, Artesia, CA, UC Berkeley

Ashley Burnside, Ann Arbor, MI, University of Michigan

Patrick Cordova, Winter Park, FL, New York University, (Erickson-Zoellers Point Scholar)

Gregory Davis, Detroit, MI, UCLA, (Voices On Point Scholarship)

Somjen Frazer, Silar City, NC, Columbia University

Camden Goetz, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Tufts University   

Michael Haymer, Fullerton, CA, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, (Janssen Therapeutics Point Scholar)

Rachel Jackson, Vancouver, WA, University of Washington Seattle (George Benes, MD & Michael Mallee, EdD Point Scholar)

Laura Karnoski, Edmonds, WA, University of Washington Seattle

Ryan Kendall, Denver, CO, Columbia University

Aleksander Klimek, Livermore, CA, UC Berkeley

Michael McCutcheon, Toledo, OH, New York University, (Darden Restaurants Point Scholar)

Dee Moore, Fayetteville, AR, Simmons College, (Phyllis Mandler & Gary Elden Point Scholar)

Mira Patel, Washington, D.C., Wharton/University of Pennsylvania, (Estee Lauder Point Scholar)

Emily Ptak-Pressman, Madison, WI, Sarah Lawrence College

Alejandra C. Salinas, Laredo, TX, Boston College Law School, (Toyota Financial Services Point Scholar)

Savannah Shange, Chicago, IL, University of Pennsylvania

Valentin Sierra, Bakersfield, CA, UC Davis

Rachael Stein, Beverly Hills, MI, Harvard College

Nicole Sterling, Laurel, MD, Towson University

Ngoc Loan Tran, Charlotte, NC, University of Washington Seattle, (Calamus Foundation Point Scholar)

Nicholas A. Waltrip, Miami, FL, Florida State University

Megan Weinand, Tucson, AZ, Boston University, (Rosen Goertz Point Scholar)

Kathryne M. Young, La Honda, CA, Stanford University

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 $15 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. www.pointfoundation.org

Available Topic Expert: For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Jorge Valencia

SOURCE Point Foundation