Point Foundation awards 29 New Scholarships to Diverse Group of LGBTQ Students


Point Foundation (Point) provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBTQ 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 and its donors and mentors with the rare satisfaction of directly investing their resources and time in future generations of leaders.

The path to a higher education degree is now possible for 29 undergraduate and graduate students from around the country who will receive Point Foundation Scholarships. Nearly 2,000 scholarship applications were submitted, making this the second highest number of applications the Foundation has received in its 11-year existence.

Point Foundation (Point) is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit.

“What unites all our Point Scholars, no matter what their background, is that they are incredibly committed to improving society. They all want to be agents of change,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “In the last year, the 29 new scholars collectively devoted an amazing 16,000 hours of volunteer time leading projects and events benefiting their communities. These young people are incredibly eager to make the most of the quality education and leadership training their Point Scholarship provides.”

The 29 new scholarship recipients join 47 current Point Scholars, for a total of 76 students who will receive financial assistance and programmatic support from Point during the 2012 – 2013 academic year. Point’s multifaceted support for scholars extends far beyond a direct financial contribution toward the cost of their education. Each scholar is paired with a mentor, and participates in leadership development and training in civic engagement.

Point Scholars agree to give back to the LGBTQ community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. After graduating, Point Scholars become part of Point’s growing alumni network – 145 strong as of June 2012.

New Named Scholarships created so far for 2012-13 include those with support from Janssen Therapeutics, Motorola Solutions, NBCUniversal, and, as well as five additional Wells Fargo Point Scholarships (bringing the company’s total support to ten Named Scholarships).

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

The 2012 Point Foundation Scholars (including home state, school attending and if receiving a Named Scholarship):

Sarah Biscarra-Dilley, CA, San Francisco Art Institute
Josh Blecher-Cohen
, NY, Harvard College
Ved Chirayath, CA, Stanford University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Cary Crall, CA, Harvard Medical School (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Shane Du, CA, SUNY Upstate Medical University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Angela Filley, IN, Columbia University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Noel Gordon, NV, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Larry King/Jeffrey Fashion Cares Point Scholar)
Isaias Guzman, CA, University of California, Berkeley
Navidra Hardin, NJ, Emerson College
Marco Herndon, GA, Dartmouth College (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Adaobi Kanu, NY, Columbia University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Kathryn Kendall, VA, Boston College Law School
Tyler Kissinger, NC, University of Chicago (Motorola Solutions Point Scholar)
Tanner Liechty, IA, Johns Hopkins University (Paul W. Speier Point Scholar)
Noah Lupica, ME, Brown University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Alyssa Mandula, IN, DePaul University
Monica Motley, VA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Patrick Oathout, TX, Duke University (Wells Fargo Point Scholar)
Kwame Ocran, NY, Hunter College
Nicole Opper, CA, San Francisco State University (NBCUniversal Point Scholar)
Nicholas Orozco, CA, University of California, Berkeley (Minton-Spidell Point Scholar)
Xinyi Ou, MI, Grand Valley State University (Allan Gilmour & Eric Jirgens Point Scholar)
Oraia Reid, WA, Baruch College – CUNY (HBO Point Scholar)
Zoe Reidinger, NC, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Nicole Robert, WA, University of Washington
Jeff Sheng, CA, Stanford University
Max Staebler, FL, Duke University (Darden Restaurants Point Scholar)
Pete Subkoviak, WI, Johns Hopkins University
Kayla Wingert, IL, Johnson & Wales University (Larry King/Jeffrey Fashion Cares Point Scholar)

The 29 new scholarship recipients all demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement and financial need. Many of these young people have unfortunately experienced the loss of financial and social support of their families and/or communities, as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.