Press Release


LOS ANGELES, JUNE 22, 2017 — Point Foundation today announced its 2017 scholarship recipients. The 52 scholarship recipients are the largest and most diverse group in the organization’s history. From more than 2,000 applicants, 27 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students were chosen to be Point Scholars. Point is also welcoming 25 LGBTQ students to its expanded Community College Scholarship Program thanks to continued support from Wells Fargo.

“Given the volatile political climate and its implications for trans rights, immigrant rights, gender issues, and civil liberties, it is essential to invest in the next generation of LGBTQ leaders,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “By helping them to access the higher education they need to succeed, we can assure LGBTQ students are poised to become the change makers we desperately need.”

For 2017–2018, 98 LGBTQ students will receive financial assistance and programmatic support from Point as they pursue their associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degrees.

Notable facts about the 2017 Point Scholars: 

  • Two-thirds identify as a racial or ethnic group other than white.
  • Nearly half identify as transgender, gender-nonconforming, or intersex.
  • More than a third are first in their families to go to college.

Notable facts about the 2017 Community College Scholarship recipients:

  • 60% are the first in their families to go to college
  • Nearly half identify as transgender, gender-nonconforming, or intersex.
  • One-Third identify as bisexual, polysexual or queer. 

Individuals, corporations, and organizations support Point’s mission by designating a scholarship with a “Name.” These donors pledge to cover the financial assistance and programmatic support Point provides its scholars.

Named Scholarships generously being supported are: Barbey; Calamus Foundation; Douglas Wurth; George Benes, MD & Michael Mallee, EdD; HBO; HSBC; Janssen Infectious Diseases; Kevin Hummer; KPMG; Minton-Spidell-Jackowski; NBCUniversal; Novo Nordisk; Point Honors Los Angeles; Point Honors New York; Rand Skolnick; Rim-Freeman; Arnold Schwab; Took Trust; Toyota Financial Services; Viiv; Walter M. Decker; Wells Fargo; William J. Levy.

The 2017 Point Scholars, including hometown, major, degree, school, and Named Scholarship (where applicable):

  • Logan Alcosiba; Newark, CA; Humanities; BA; San Francisco State University, CA; Wells Fargo Scholar
  • Michael Arellano; Shelby, MI; Dance/Behavioral Science, BA; Western Michigan University, MI
  • Kylie Blume; El Dorado, CA; Medicine, MD; University of Minnesota, MN; Novo Nordisk Scholar
  • Nolan Boggess; Des Moines, IA; Theatre and Dance, BA; Grinnell College, IA
  • Kerri Cecil; Los Angeles, CA; Film and Television, BA; School TBD.
  • Wandi Che; Beijing, China; Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, BA; Duke University, NC
  • Kevin Contreras; Carson, CA; Pre-Med, BA; Pitzer College, CA; Wells Fargo Scholar
  • Sarah Daoud; Chicago, IL; Social Work, MSW, University of Chicago, IL; Janssen Infectious Diseases Scholar
  • Felipe Gomez; Hialeah, FL; Mathematical Economics, BA; University of Pennsylvania, PA; Wells Fargo Scholar
  • Eric Gonzaba; Corydon, IN; History, Ph.D.; George Mason University, VA
  • Molly Griffard; St. Louis, MO; Law, JD; New York University, NY
  • Kuhan Jeyapragasan; Toronto, CA; Applied Mathematics, BA; Stanford University, CA; HSBC Scholar
  • Bodo Lee; Oro Valley, AZ; Ethics, Politics, and Economics, BA; Yale University, CT; Wells Fargo Scholar
  • Adil Mansoor; Lombard, IL; Theatre, MA; Carnegie Mellon University, PA; Arnold Schwab Scholar
  • Landon Marchant; Wrightstown, WI; Computer Science, BA; Williams College, MA; HSBC Scholar
  • Shannon Moran; Grand Rapids, MI; Chemical Engineering, Ph.D.; University of Michigan, MI
  • Ximena Ospina Vargas; Elizabeth, NJ; Business, BA; Columbia University, NY; KPMG Scholar
  • Khushboo Panjwani; Carrollton, TX; International Relations, Anthropology, BA; University of Texas at Austin, TX; Rim-Freeman Scholar
  • Omar Salman; Nashville, TN; Medicine, MD; Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, VA; Janssen Infectious Diseases Scholar
  • Donna Scaffidi; Shrewsury, MA; Law, JD; University of Michigan, MI
  • Oliver Stabbe; Washington, DC; American Sign Language/Psychology, BA; University of Rochester, NY
  • Tony Vo; Seattle, WA; Educational Leadership, Ed.D; Seattle University, WA
  • Yingyi Wang; Huizhou, China; Gender, Women, and Sexualities Studies, Ph.D.; University of Washington, WA; Kevin Hummer Scholar
  • Vanessa Watson; Little Silver, NJ; Production Management in Fashion and Related Industries/Technical Design, BA; Fashion Institute of Technology, NY; Barbey Scholar
  • Valerie Weisler; West Nyack, NY; Inequalities of Education, BA; Muhlenberg College, PA
  • Le’Priya White; Chicago, IL; Sociology, BA; Oberlin College, OH
  • Harper Zacharias; Chicago, IL; International Relations, BA; Bard College, NY; George Benes, MD & Michael Mallee, EdD. Scholar

The 2017 recipients of the Point Community College Scholarship, including major and school:

  • Barovier Kevin Allybose; Liberal Arts; Norwalk Community College, CT
  • Andres Bautista; Psychology and Gender & Women’s Studies; Glendale Community College, AZ
  • Diana Campos; Engineering Science; Richard J. Daley College, IL
  • Kevin Canton Mancia; Mathematics; Santa Monica College, CA
  • Tomas Castillo Bukakis; Film; College of the Canyons and Santa Monica College, CA
  • Nia Clark; Communications; Los Angeles City College, CA
  • Bryant Couvillon; Public Policy; Georgia State University Perimeter College, GA
  • Robert Darkwood; Pre-Nursing; Fullerton College, CA
  • Justin Deal; Pre-Nursing; Cleveland State Community College, TN
  • Lucas Dickerson; Art; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, MS
  • Daniel Gomez; Neuroscience; East Los Angeles College, CA
  • Tremaine Jones; Social Work; Miami Dade College, FL
  • Alexander Kees Bomgarnder; Accounting; North Lake College, TX
  • Amme Lahaie; Process Technology, Mechanical Engineering; Bellingham Technical College, WA
  • Chloe Lannes; English; Diablo Valley College, CA
  • Nina Lockshin; Sociology; Diablo Valley College, CA
  • McKenna Palmer; Gender Studies; Santa Monica College, CA
  • Stevan Perea; Political Science; Santa Monica College, CA
  • Gramoz Prestreshi; Social Work; The Catholic University of America, DC
  • Christina Quiñonez; Social Sciences; Berkeley City College, CA
  • Celene Reyes Aparicio; Psychology; Long Beach City College, CA
  • Daffodyle Saget; Sociology; Miami Dade College, FL
  • Preston Shatwell; Marketing; Rogers State University, OK
  • Bryce Taylor; Generals (Dental Hygiene); Western Iowa Tech Community College, IA
  • Sergio Tundo; Pre-Nursing; County College of Morris, IL

Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.

Since 2002, Point has awarded approximately 400 scholarships making it the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students. The Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training.

Media Contact: Eugene Patron 
212.512.7807 / 917.501.5881

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