Point Foundation

January 09, 2007 09:00 ET

Point Foundation Opens 2007 Application Season

LOS ANGELES--(Collegiate Presswire - January 9, 2007) - Point Foundation, the national non-profit foundation supporting academic achievement in higher education among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, announced the opening of its 2007 application season. Students who will be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2007-08 school year are eligible to apply for the prestigious, multi-year scholarships. The application deadline for this year's scholarships is March 1, 2007.

Point Foundation Board Chair Bruce Lindstrom (who founded the organization with his partner, Carl Strickland in 2001) is looking forward to the selection process, which begins with written on-line applications and concludes with face-to-face interviews with selected finalists in April. "The application and selection process is rigorous but rewarding," he said. "It's quite inspiring to meet so many outstanding LGBT students who represent this community's future leaders. Our staff, trustees and directors look forward to the process with great anticipation. To be a part of this process is both a great honor and a great responsibility," he concluded.

Point Scholarships are substantial. While the average scholarship award is approximately $12,500, Point supports scholars with additional programs. For example, the Point's mentoring program, leadership training and summer leadership conference create a multifaceted support network for scholars extending far beyond their time in school. The average amount of financial support devoted to each scholar is greater than $30,000 which includes scholarship funding, mentoring and success and leadership training.

Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and to give back to the LGBT community through completion of an individual community service project. In addition, scholars are matched with mentors from the professional world thought Point's formal mentoring program; the mentors serve as role models and provide personal support to their assigned scholars. The mentoring program and Point's professional support network equip scholars with skills to ensure a lifetime of leadership, success and well-being.

Point Scholars are chosen for their demonstrated leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, involvement in the LGBT community and financial need. Particular attention is paid to students who have lost the financial and social support of their families and/or communities as a result of revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity. Current Point Scholars attend some of the nation's most prestigious colleges and universities including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Rice, UC-Berkeley, UCLA and many other outstanding institutions.

Since its inception in 2001, Point Foundation has invested over $2 million in the education of outstanding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. The organization's growth over a short period of time is noteworthy. In their first year, Point received 268 applications and granted eight scholarships. In 2006, 1,342 applications were submitted and 30 students were granted scholarships. As of January 2007, there are 59 Point Scholars currently enrolled in school, as well as 16 alumni.

Newly appointed Executive Director Jorge Valencia noted that the need for funding and mentorship among LGBT students is vast. "Despite gains in civil rights and progress in our culture, a great number of LGBT youth in this country face enormous challenges simply because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity," he said. "We expect a significant increase in applications this year."

In response to this overwhelming need, Point Foundation has recently taken steps to strengthen its infrastructure providing a strong organization to meet future growth. The foundation has decided to set up its base of operations in Los Angeles. In addition to hiring Valencia, Point has brought in seasoned fundraiser Christopher Fritzen as its first full time Development Director. They have also promoted long-time Administration Director Nanci Glogauer as Chief of Staff and hired Darrin Wilstead as Executive and Development Associate. Please visit www.pointfoundation.org for management team biographies.

"This is a moment of positive transition for Point Foundation," said Valencia. "We are poised for even more growth, which will have a direct effect on our ability to offer more scholarships to more deserving students."

MtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, will once again partner with Point to offer a joint scholarship. Other partnerships with organizations, corporations and individuals are currently being planned. For more information about the Point-MTVu scholarship and other named scholarships, contact Christopher Fritzen at Chris@pointfoundation.org.

To schedule an interview with Bruce Lindstrom, Jorge Valencia, or a Point Scholar in your area, contact Renna Communications. Hi-res photos are also available upon request.

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

For information on how to apply for a Point Scholarship, please visit: http://www.pointfoundation.org/apply.html.

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