09 January 2006

Point Foundation Announces 2006 Scholarship Applications Available...

The Point Foundation Press Release announced two very important things: the Scholarship Application process for 2006 is now open and a new collaboration with the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

This year, the Point Foundation will partner with the Matthew Shepard Foundation to offer a slate of new named scholarships, awarding $10,000 to three Matthew Shepard-Point Foundation Scholars. The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998.

You can find the entire press release and other information on the Point Foundation website: The Point Foundation.

I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the scholars at an event the Point Foundation sponsored in Chicago recently.

Christopher Kawasaki
Harvard University,
Kennedy School of Government

Tanene Allison
Uncommon Legacy Point Scholar;
Harvard University,
Kennedy School of Government

Both Christopher and Tanene graduated from Harvard in December on a Point Foundation Scholarship. If these scholarships had not been available to them, who knows what would have happened. All Point scholars have very high standards to meet. The two most important are to maintain a 3.5 GPA and to design and complete a project that will serve and contribute to the community.

Tanene left her desolate unaccepting home in the Southwest and went to San Francisco . She worked for the city government in San Francisco while working another job and going to school - all while being homeless. She received no support of any kind from her family. She attended graduate school at Harvard with the Point scholarship.

For her project, Tanene right now is crossing the US with a film crew gathering information directly from people all over the US and their views of the LGBT community with the intent of not only gathering data but producing a documentary. Her thoughts and ideas impressed me beyond belief.

Most, if not all, Point Scholars are throw away kids! Their families have abandoned them, in some cases depriving them of their college funding and withdrawing not only the financial support but also emotional and spiritual backing. These young people are resilient in their advocacy for themselves and the community. They each can tell you a personal story that will tug at your heart, but the thing you notice the most is their irrepressible hope and positive outlook on the future. They are accepted for who they are and what they are capable of doing, not what they are.

If you know of a young person who might qualify for a scholarship invite them to explore the website or download the application and give it to them. [Application deadline is March 1st.] If your are involved with a local LGBT center that supports young people, become familiar with the Foundation and make others aware of it.

I strongly urge everyone to explore the Point Foundation website and to open up your hearts and pockets to this phenomenal foundation. They are not only in need of funding but each has a mentor from the foundation to support them personally. There is information on the website about mentoring.

A you can tell, I am really a supporter of The Point Foundation. I think it is one of the most important areas that the LGBT community can support. In the very short time of its existence the Foundation has grown by leaps, but the people behind it have a high goal. A college education is expensive. Within the next few years they would like to be able to support hundreds of scholars. With our help, they can do it.

These young people are our future and our children.

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