Point Foundation Opens 2010 Application Season and Announces New Named Scholarships

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Point Foundation (Point), the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, announces the opening of its 2010 application season starting December 11, 2009. Students who will be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2010-11 school year are eligible to apply for the prestigious, multi-year scholarships. The application deadline for this year’s scholarships is February 12, 2010.

“Last year, we received a record-breaking number of applications for our prestigious and highly completive scholarships – over 2,400 applications,” said Executive Director & CEO Jorge Valencia. “And given the current economic environment, which is making it increasing more difficult to secure funding for a higher education, we expect to get an even greater number of applications this year.”

Point Foundation’s rigorous selection process requires of its candidates demonstrated academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement 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, gender identity or gender expression. The selection process begins with on-line applications and concludes with face-to-face interviews with selected finalists. Point Regent and Selections Subcommittee Chair Shelley Fischel comments, “While the application and selection process can be demanding, it is also very rewarding to take part in this process.”

Current Point Scholars attend some of the nation’s foremost higher educational institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Rice, UC-Berkeley, UCLA and many other outstanding institutions.

The average amount of annual support devoted to each scholar is between $25,000-$33,000. A Point Scholarship award includes financial support, as well as programmatic support in leadership training, community service and mentoring.

Individuals selected as Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance, attend Point’s various leadership forums, participate in press interviews and give back to the LGBT community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. To better prepare its scholars for success in school and in society, they are matched with mentors from the professional world through Point’s Mentoring Program; mentors lend their professional expertise and career guidance and become important role models to scholars. The Mentoring Program and Point’s professional support network provide scholars with skills to ensure a lifetime of leadership, success and well-being.

Since its inception in 2001, Point Foundation has invested over $4.5 million in the education of outstanding LGBT students. This investment is made possible through various fundraising efforts, including Point’s Named Scholarship Program, which allows individuals, organizations, foundations and corporations the opportunity to honor the name of an individual or organization, while demonstrating a public commitment of valuing education, leadership and diversity. A Named Scholarship is an annual commitment of $25,000 over four consecutive years, for a total of $100,000.

Point Foundation is honored to partner with The Palette Fund, Phyllis Mandler & Gary Elden and Johnson & Johnson in the creation of four new Named Scholarships.

“This generous support will provide four deserving young people the opportunity to attain a higher education and is a vote of confidence in our execution of our mission,” noted Executive Director & CEO Jorge Valencia.

“Over the past year, The Palette Fund has supported Point’s important work and we’re proud to further solidify our partnership through the creation of the Rand Skolnick Point Scholarship. Rand believed that investing in the education and training of LGBT youth today, would create a more compassionate and just tomorrow,” said Terrence Meck, President and Executive Director for The Palette Fund. “We hope our support of Point, will inspire others to do the same and invest in the next generation of leaders.”

For more information regarding the Named Scholarship Program, please contact Development Director – West Jeff Mack atjeff@pointfoundation.org or Managing Development Director Michael Marino at michael@pointfoundation.org.

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.