Providing scholarships and hope to LGBT students.
By Jorge Valencia, CEO and Executive Director, Point Foundation June 20, 2011 03:12 PM
Marginalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) youth remains prevalent in our communities, homes, and in classrooms. As if harassment, violence, and family abandonment aren't difficult enough to overcome, the current economic situation, coupled with the cost of attending college rising at twice the rate of inflation, has made it virtually impossible for so many deserving youth to envision higher education and their right to secure a better future.
This is where Point Foundation steps into help by providing not only financial support, but also leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT youth who face social stigma and prejudice because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. Founders Bruce Lindstrom and his longtime partner Carl Strickland began in 2001 with the goal of offering both scholarships and mentorship to the best and the brightest LGBT students.
We have grown exponentially since our first year when we could offer just eight scholarships. Celebrating our 10-year anniversary this year, we have been fortunate enough to have helped more than 160 individual scholars with over $5.3 million in direct financial support for their college education. Citi has played a vital role in this success, investing significantly over the years in our efforts to make the higher education dreams of LGBT students come true. Citi Community Development's sponsorship of Point's 2011 Scholar and Alumni Leadership Conference is a prime example of how their support has helped us offer career development, family planning and finance and investment education that will help these potential leaders through their university years and beyond.
This month, Point announced its 2011-12 undergraduate and graduate Point Scholarship recipients. Exhibiting exemplary academic records and leadership in their community, these 34 new scholars were chosen from nearly 2,000 applicants. In June 2011, a total of 71 Point Scholars will be supported in their respective colleges or universities, and 124 Point Alumni will continue to pursue their life goals.
It is our belief that with a combination of higher education, leadership skills and mentorship, these scholars will go on to make positive changes in their community. Citi's support of Point Foundation and other LGBT organizations demonstrates a true commitment to diversity, and we hope it also motivates other corporations and individuals to invest in the future through the education of our young people.
Point Foundation (Point) is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit.