Meet the Point Foundation’s Class of 2010

The Point Foundation searches for the best and brightest LGBT students.

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 15 2010 1:10 PM ET

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

2010 POINT FOUNDATION SCHOLARS02 X560 (COURTESY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Jody Andrade
- from Baltimore
- pursuing a BS in Nursing at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
- Paul W. Speier Point Scholarship recipient

Born in upstate New York, Andrade moved to Syracuse, fell into retail management, and after a while began asking the well-worn question “Is this all there is?” That question has pursued her through the following two decades, first across the country to Denver and into Metropolitan State College of Denver, where she founded the Feminist Alliance and organized the first National Coming Out Day celebration on campus. Off-campus, she was a founding volunteer with the Anti-Violence Project, an LGBT victims’ assistance organization, of which she later became the first paid director. After working with LGBT victims of crime for three years, her motivating questions changed to “Is this all I can do to change things?” With an eye toward systemic changes, Andrade went to the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs for graduate school,  focusing on gender, policy, and development. Her studies were augmented with a summer studying housing, human rights, and Arabic at the University of Birzeit Ramallah, West Bank and Palestine.

Back in the U.S., Andrade was awarded a congressional fellowship from the Women’s Research and Education Institute. She completed this fellowship in the late senator Paul Wellstone’s office, working on immigration and civil rights issues. After leaving Washington, D.C., Andrade first worked with the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, a collaboration of public and private agencies serving young people, and then with the Maryland Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families as a child welfare and maltreatment analyst. Believing that change occurs from multiple angles, during this time she also founded the Charm City Kitty Club, a queer variety cabaret that won a Lesbian Theater Award from Curve magazine and a mention in The New York Times. With a mission to create a unique social and cultural niche for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual women and all allies, the Kitty Club has hosted over a hundred artists and performers and reached well over 5,000 audience members. On June 1, Andrade started an accelerated BS degree program in nursing at Johns Hopkins University. She looks forward to combining her policy skills with nursing to provide change for fragile communities, families, and people.

"When I was accepted at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, I experienced two completely opposing reactions," Andrade says. "The first was, Yay, I got into Hopkins! Which was quickly followed by, Oh, crap,I'm going to live my life in poverty trying to pay for Hopkins. Coming from a blue-collar rural family, I am already in debt from the first time I went to college. I've been lucky that my family has always been utterly supportive of me. With the support of the Point Scholarship, the fact that they happen to be working class–poor doesn't mean I have to be straddled with unsustainable debt."

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