01/03/2013 09:49 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

30 Days Of LGBT Holiday Giving: Give A Gift To The Point Foundation

Note: This holiday season, in lieu of a traditional holiday gift guide, we'll be featuring a different LGBT organization each day for our "30 Days Of LGBT Giving." Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible group that's working tirelessly on behalf of the LGBT community.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identified students frequently do not have the support or encouragement to pursue higher education, making organizations like the Point Foundation critical to their success.

The foundation began in 2001 and has become the largest national LGBT scholarship fund for college students who demonstrate academic merit, among other qualities.

But beyond providing financial support for LGBT students, the foundation has a number of programs that help cultivate these future leaders. Some of these programs include: mentoring, Point Scholars are matched with professionals who work in the scholar's academic fields of interest; community service, where the students are required to complete a community service project that targets the LGBT community every year of their funding term; various regional and national leadership conferences; and internship opportunities for the students to gain real world full-time experience with a prospective employer.

"The take home message of my coming out process was that I couldn't be in a relationship with a woman and still be a good person," said Ellen Adams, a 2006-2010 Point Scholar. "If it had not been for Point, I wouldn't have had the means or even the conviction that I could go to college."

The current application cycle for 2013 Point scholarships is now open until Jan. 14.

To learn more about this amazing organization and how you can help these students achieve a higher education, visit their website, and be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter @PointFoundation and their YouTube page filled with more inspiring videos.



30 Days of LGBT Giving