Rise Above Coffee is proud to be the LGBTQ+ Coffee that gives back, and each month, we feature a non-profit doing exceptional work in the LGBTQ+ community. This November, we’re shining a spotlight on Point Foundation.
Point Foundation empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential—despite the obstacles they often face—so they are better equipped to make a meaningful impact on society. Point is the largest scholarship-granting non-profit for LGBTQ students.
Meeting the Challenges of LGBTQ Students in Higher Education
LGBTQ people often find the pursuit of higher education inaccessible, or they graduate with overwhelming debt. This leads to fewer LGBTQ people getting the promising start they deserve, which means a lack of LGBTQ representation in leadership roles across all employment sectors.
Since 2002, Point Foundation has awarded 500+ scholarships to LGBTQ students of merit, and they are on track to double that number in the 2022-2023 academic year. And the impact this has on society is substantial: Point alumni include elected officials, doctors, scientists, filmmakers, authors, lawyers, academics, business professionals and entrepreneurs.
At the core of Point’s impact lie the scholarships the organization awards to eligible LGBTQ students each academic year. There are three main scholarships Point Foundation provides.
The Point Flagship Scholarship—8 awarded in 2000, 69 in 2022
This scholarship supports LGBTQ students as they pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees at accredited educational institutions in the United States.
Designed for LGBTQ students earning a degree, recipients receive financial support, access to multiple leadership development programs, mentorship or coaching, and support from the Point community of scholars and alumni. The financial reward is based on need and renewable for up to four years of support.
The Point BIPOC Scholarship—69 awarded in 2020, 274 in 2022
This scholarship provides financial support, coaching and community support to people who identify as Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color.
Generations of racism and an education system born of discriminatory policies have made clear that BIPOC students face greater obstacles to educational achievement. When Black, Indigenous and People of Color also identify as LGBTQ, these challenges are often multiplied to the point of making a degree in higher education seem impossible. Point Foundation aims to mitigate these issues by providing financial support, professional development, and access to community resources.
Recipients receive up to $1,500 for a single academic term, and must identify and Black, Indigenous or Persons of Color and LGBTQ.
The Point Community College Scholarship—11 awarded in 2016, 90 in 2022
This scholarship empowers LGBTQ students to fulfil their community college ambitions. Whether a student is eager to complete a two year degree and pursue their passions outside the classroom or they’re earning credits to transfer to a four year college or university, Point Foundation can provide financial aid and coaching to help them realize success in higher education.
Recipients are awarded $2,400 per semester or $4,800 per academic year for a max of two years. Students working to transfer to a four year school also receive coaching and admissions counseling.
For all Point Scholarships, each recipient must be “out” as a person who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community. When applicants are reviewed, many factors are considered beyond financial need, such as leadership and community involvement, academic achievement, and LGBTQ advocacy.
Accessing Point Scholarships
If you or your student are interested in applying for a Point Foundation scholarship, check out their How to Get Scholarships video and Application Tips page to learn more.
Coffee for a Cause
In support of Point Foundation, November’s #coffeeforacause is Santa’s Favorite Ho, our medium-dark roast Christmas blend from Central and South America. When you buy Santa’s Favorite Ho coffee during the month of November, a portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to Point Foundation!
To learn more about Point Foundation, get involved, or donate directly to the cause, visit their website and be sure to follow them on social media!