Mission: To empower promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential — despite the obstacles often put before them — and make a significant impact on society.
About the Organization: Founded in 2001, the Point Foundation is the largest college scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students. Since 2002, the organization has invested over $18 million in the programmatic support of more than three hundred Point Scholars, including eight-five in 2015-16. According to the organization, nearly a third of LGBTQ students drop out of high school to escape the violence, harassment, and isolation they face there, and as a result many do not go on to pursue higher education. To address the problem, the Point Foundation works to foster a greater level of acceptance, respect, and tolerance for all and build a community of change agents by providing — in addition to scholarship funding — mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.
Current Programs: The organization's scholarship program awards "last provider" funding enabling LGBTQ students — including international and undocumented students — to attend institutions of higher education in the United States. Selection criteria include the applicant's academic performance, leadership skills, financial need, personal goals, and involvement in the LGBTQ community, with consideration also given to students who have lost the social support of their families and/or communities as a result of their "coming out." Each Point Scholar agrees to maintain a high level of academic performance, is matched with a mentor, participates in leadership development programs and activities, and annually completes a community service project designed to benefit the LGBTQ community. Upon graduation, Point Scholars become part of the organization's alumni network, which connects them with supportive individuals and professional contacts.
In 2016 the foundation launched a community college scholarship program in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York City that provides a scholarship for tuition, coaching, and opportunities to attend local leadership conferences and network with Point alumni.
In addition, with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Palette Fund, the organization's internship program provides Point Scholars with opportunities to undertake internships with LGBTQ nonprofits.
Website: Visitors to the Point Foundation website can learn about its Point Scholars, alumni, and mentoring programs; learn more about the organization's community service projects and scholars and alumni on the Viewpoint blog; listen to stories of perseverance and pride from scholars, alumni, mentors, board members, and funders; and/or check out upcoming events. In addition, LGBQT students can read up on the application process, including eligibility criteria and FAQs, or post questions for Point Scholars. Non-student visitors can apply to become a mentor; recommend a student as a scholarship candidate; and/or establish a Point scholarship or make a donation.
Funding: The Point Foundation is funded by foundations, corporations, and individuals.