PhD Student | Social Service Administration
2016-2017 Point Foundation Scholar
What drew you to the Point Foundation? What about it seemed like a good fit for you and your work at the time that you were applying?
I was drawn to the Point Foundation by a desire for mentorship, a powerful peer network, accountability to continue developing my leadership skills, and flexible and supplemental financial support. It seemed like a good fit for me because it highlighted LGBTQ leaders across disciplines and was inclusive of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. In addition, both times I have applied I knew I would be a somewhat unique candidate based on my early career work as an out, queer educator in public schools within low-income communities in Atlanta and Chicago. I knew that the Point Foundation would be a good fit for me because it would provide additional supports from LGBTQ-identified mentors and peers that may otherwise be hard to find as I pursued my future goals.
Is there a particular experience that stands out to you or that has endured beyond the fellowship year? Or, something you hadn’t counted on that has since proven important for you or your work?
The largest impact—that I could not have predicted—was the impact of Point’s peer network and the enduring experience of my Elton John AIDS Foundation Internship. The achievements of my fellow scholars constantly reminds me of both how much is possible and how much leadership the world needs. Their work encourages me to work harder and do more. My summer internship—obtained via the Point Foundation—with a local HIV prevention organization pushed my thinking and has shaped the questions that serve as the core of my research agenda. While I had previously focused on transitions to college; this opportunity shifted my lens to transitions to adulthood more generally and positive attachment to school or work for vulnerable youth after high school completion.
The Point Foundation’s application process is rigorous, involving multiple rounds of application materials and interviews. Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about applying?
My best advice for successfully obtaining the Point Foundation scholarship is: start early (even as early as the year before you plan to apply), do not underestimate the importance of your engagement, be clear about what the entire program (mentorship, funding, and network) will do for you personally and professionally, and be yourself. Do not feel a need to tell anyone else’s story or to tell a story that overestimates your difficulties. Resilience and authenticity, service, achievement, and leadership are key. This application is long, but it can be welcoming, rewarding, and therapeutic. Enjoy the process and do not be afraid to reapply. There are many people who are selected for by Point the second or third time that they apply.
More about Bridgette
Bridgette’s current Point Foundation Scholarship is supporting her work as a doctoral student at SSA and a Department of Education Interdisciplinary Education Studies Fellow. Her interests include institutional approaches to transitions to adulthood for vulnerable urban youth, educational inequality, gaps across race and SES in college attainment, and the impacts of Pell Grants and other means-tested programs on educational attainment.
More about the Point Foundation
The Point Foundation (“Point”), established in 2001, was initially funded by a grant from Bruce C. Lindstrom & Carl T. Strickland. Point is what it is today—the premier, national LGBTQ non-profit organization designed to nurture the LGBTQ leaders of the next generation—because of the generous support of others. Point empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential—despite the obstacles often put before them—to make a significant impact on society. When scholarship funding is robust the average yearly scholarship amount provided is $10,000 per year for up to four years. Point support scholars through graduation (or for up to four years of scholarship funding).