Scholarships help LGBTQ students in US overcome challenges

LGBTQ Point Foundation (Point), the largest scholarship-granting organization in the United States for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students, on Thursday announced its 2016 class of 22 Point Foundation Scholars, as well as the launch of its new Community College Scholarship Program, which awarded scholarships to its first class of 11 students.

Many LGBTQ students struggle against harassment, lack of familial support, and/or financial hardships. Despite these challenges, however, they are also leaders in their communities and dedicated advocates for positive change.

Point has initiated a new program to help LGBTQ students in their final year of community college prepare to transfer to a four-year college or university. Wells Fargo, a longtime corporate partner of Point, is funding the inaugural year of Point’s Community College Scholarship Program.

“For many students, the path to attaining a higher education degree is not always straightforward,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Educational advancement happens in stages – similar to the process of coming out over time as an LGBTQ individual. Point provides multidimensional support to LGBTQ students working toward their educational goals, and we are eager to help community college students who are ready to advance toward a four-year degree.”

The 22 members of the 2016 Point Scholar Class join 51 Point Scholars who are currently pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees and are receiving financial assistance and programmatic support from Point. With the creation of the Community College Scholarship, as well as a continued dedication to leadership development, mentoring, and community support, Point looks forward to supporting an even broader community of LGBTQ students towards similar success.

Facts about the 2016 Class of Point Foundation Scholars:

  • 50% represent racial and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
  • 41% identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.
  • 36% are the first-generation in their family to go to college.
  • The 22 scholars come from 17 states and three countries.
  • Last year they collectively provided approx. 15,000 hours of service to their communities.

Facts about the 2016 Community College Scholarship recipients:

  • 100% identify with a racial or ethnic group other than white.
  • 81.8% currently receive tuition aid.
  • 50% are female and/or trans-identified.

Point awarded its first eight scholarships in 2002 and has since invested more than $18 million in the programmatic support of its scholars. Individuals, corporations, and organizations can support Point’s mission with a Named Scholarship of $100,000 to cover the financial assistance and programmatic support Point provides its scholars. – PRNewswire

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