Out & About: The Point Foundation

by Editorial

Point Foundation empowers the LGBT leaders of tomorrow.
By Ruddy Harootian

Jorge Valencia (center, suit) with Point Scholars.

At the age of six, I moved from the Dominican Republic to New York City. It was an exciting time of discovery and learning, but it also became immediately apparent that the road ahead was going to be difficult. The teasing began as soon as I was enrolled in school. “Faggot,” “pretty boy,” and “Pajaro” (which is a derogatory word used to describe gay people in Spanish) were verbal attacks used against me in the classroom on a daily basis. Imagine having to adjust to a new country, learning English practically overnight, and then having to deal with the teasing. Somehow, I pulled it off; and after a while, I didn’t have problems with people anymore. As my confidence got stronger, my situation got better.

The reality is that for many kids the situation does not end up as well as it did for me; and where it does, emotionally it is important to feel that you have a personal and professional support system. The Point Foundation ensures that our LGBT youth has the tools and mentoring they need to go out in the world and become the leaders of tomorrow. Point Foundation’s mission is to provide financial support, mentoring, leadership, training, and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. I spoke with Joseph Goldman, a 2007 Point Scholar, and he told me that he hopes there is a day when The Point Foundation is not needed. For now, they are very much needed in the community and Joseph is taking full advantage of the help.

Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and CEO of Point Foundation, sees amazing potential in our youth and is thankful for all the people that donate to the cause and participate in the mentoring program that is part of the scholarship. “I am extremely proud of the work we do here at Point Foundation and I see so many talented young people. The key to our success has been to truly nurture and develop these scholarship recipients. Constant communication is needed in order to provide both financial and emotional guidance,” says Jorge.

Point Foundation is having their Annual Washington, DC Reception on May 5th, 2011. The event is a great opportunity to become involved in a cause that will nurture and empower some of the brightest and determined students. Speakers will include Jorge Valencia and a combination of scholars and alumni who will share their incredible stories.

For more information on the event and to purchase tickets visit the Point Foundation’s website.

Ruddy Harootian is a writer and photographer currently living in DC. You can follow his creative outbursts and findings on Ruddywashere.com

*Thank you to Copy Editor Zakia Smith for all of her help.

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