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A trans woman, a Muslim, and a few proud parents are some of the 38 students chosen to receive scholarships this year from Point Foundation, the nation's largest publicly supported group granting scholarships to LGBT students. Each scholar in the "Class of 2007"--the largest in the foundation's six-year history--has been awarded an average of $13,600.
"Since taking the helm at Point earlier this year, I have been pleased with the high caliber and diversity of candidates who applied for support," said Point Foundation executive director Jorge Valencia in a press release.
"After the panel interview with a finalist who appeared particularly nervous," Valencia said, "I approached him and asked, 'It wasn't all that bad, was it?' The young man replied, 'No, not really. It is just that I have never been surrounded by so many people who were accepting of me and who simply wanted me to succeed.' If that does not underscore the importance of our work with these bright and promising individuals, I don't know what could."
Point Foundation provides financial support, leadership training, and mentoring to LGBT students who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Currently a total of 84 Point Scholars are enrolled in school, and 26 have graduated and begun careers. (The Advocate)