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Gay scholarship program boom

Gay scholarship program boom

As students across the country settled into their first weeks of the new school year, the Point Foundation, which provides scholarships to gay and lesbian students, on Tuesday announced it had grown its incoming donations from $300,000 to $1.5 million in this fiscal year. In addition, Point created a $1 million endowment within just 90 days of receiving a generous $100,000 challenge grant from business leader Michael Huffington. The Point foundation is the first national foundation exclusively devoted to supporting academic achievement in higher education among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students. This year's growth makes Point one of the largest gay-focused foundations in the country and will allow the foundation to double the number of students it supports, from 25 Point Scholars in 2004 to an anticipated 50 Point Scholars in 2005. The Foundation received more than 1,000 applications last year alone. The Point Foundation was founded in 2001 by businessman Bruce Lindstrom and his partner Carl Strickland. At an early age, Lindstrom was disowned by his family because of his sexual orientation. Lindstrom struggled to put himself through college without their financial and emotional support, inspiring the mission of the Point Foundation. The foundation has prospered in large part because of its appeal to donors who want to make sure the hardships and the helplessness they faced a generation ago are not experienced by today's gay youth. The foundation provides not only multiyear financial grants but also positive support, mentoring, networking, and internship opportunities to young people marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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