Robin Roberts to Receive Point Foundation Courage Award

Anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” Will Receive Award at Point Honors Gala at the Beverly Hilton October 1

Point Foundation (Point) will honor Good Morning America Anchor Robin Roberts with the Point Courage Award at the organization’s annual Point Honors Los Angeles Gala October 1. The award recognizes those who have advocated for the future of the LGBTQ community and believe in the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.


Robin Roberts

Point Foundation 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. Point Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training.

Roberts is a proud member of the LGBTQ community and a survivor of breast cancer. Her willingness to publicly share her medical odyssey was recognized with a Peabody Award, as well as the admiration of millions. TV personality and restaurateur Lisa Vanderpump will present the award to Roberts.


Michael Lombardo

Also at the October 1 event, the Point Impact Award will be presented to producer and broadcast executive Michael Lombardo by actress Molly Shannon. Comedian Tig Notaro will host the evening, which will include appearances by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, and Matt Walsh, among others. Additional celebrity participants will be announced shortly. Information about attending or supporting Point Honors is at

My mother always told me, ‘We’ve all got something to give’ and that’s why it’s so important to empower young people through education,” said Roberts. “Nothing – not race, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation – should stand in the way of anyone getting the chance to become a skilled doctor, a scientist, journalist, or an artist whose creativity brings us joy. I am blessed to be in a position to encourage young people to help those in need, as well as assure them there are people and organizations like Point Foundation that they can turn to when they need help.

Robin Robert’s achievements as a highly accomplished journalist make her a great role model for LGBTQ students,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “That she continued to express great empathy for the lives of others even when facing daunting challenges to her health, demonstrated great courage and leadership.”

Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer LGBTQ students of merit. Some of Point’s 84 current scholarship recipients and 244 alumni will be at the event to share with the audience their inspiring stories.POINT FOUNDATION


Presenting Sponsors: HBO, Hilton, and Wells Fargo

Premier Sponsors: Gilead, and HSBC

Principal Sponsors: Neal Baer, Cadillac, and Jim Cummings & Justin Mohatt

National Media Sponsors: The Advocate &

Local Media Sponsor: The Pride L.A.

Friend of Point: Edelman

Point Foundation (Point), in late June, also announced its 2016 class of 22 Point Foundation Scholars, as well as the launch of its new Community College Scholarship Program, which awarded scholarships to its first class of 11 students.

Many LGBTQ students struggle against harassment, lack of familial support, and/or financial hardships. Despite these challenges, however, they are also leaders in their communities and dedicated advocates for positive change.

Point has initiated a new program to help LGBTQ students in their final year of community college prepare to transfer to a four-year college or university. Wells Fargo, a longtime corporate partner of Point, is funding the inaugural year of Point’s Community College Scholarship Program.

For many students, the path to attaining a higher education degree is not always straightforward,” said Valencia. “Educational advancement happens in stages – similar to the process of coming out over time as an LGBTQ individual. Point provides multidimensional support to LGBTQ students working toward their educational goals, and we are eager to help community college students who are ready to advance toward a four-year degree.

The 22 members of the 2016 Point Scholar Class join 51 Point Scholars who are currently pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees and are receiving financial assistance and programmatic support from Point. With the creation of the Community College Scholarship, as well as a continued dedication to leadership development, mentoring, and community support, Point looks forward to supporting an even broader community of LGBTQ students towards similar success.

Facts about the 2016 Class of Point Foundation Scholars:

  • 50% represent racial and ethnic groups traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
  • 41% identify as transgender or gender nonconforming.
  • 36% are the first-generation in their family to go to college.
  • The 22 scholars come from 17 states and three countries.
  • Last year they collectively provided approx. 15,000 hours of service to their communities.

Facts About The 2016 Community College Scholarship Recipients:

  • 100% identify with a racial or ethnic group other than white.
  • 81.8% currently receive tuition aid.
  • 50% are female and/or trans-identified.

Point awarded its first eight scholarships in 2002 and has since invested more than $18 million in the programmatic support of its scholars. Individuals, corporations, and organizations can support Point’s mission with a Named Scholarship of $100,000 to cover the financial assistance and programmatic support Point provides its scholars.

Named Scholarships generously being supported are: Calamus Foundation, Estée Lauder Companies, HBO, HSBC, Janssen Therapeutic, Kevin Hummer, KPMG, NBCUniversal, Point Honors Los Angeles, Rand Skolnick, Rim-Freeman, Rosen Goertz, Took Trust, Toyota Financial Services, Point Honors New York, Walter M. Decker, Viiv, Wells Fargo, and William J. Levy.

The 2016 Point Scholars, including their hometown, area of study and degree, school, and Named Scholarship (where applicable):

  • Claudia Astorino; Hazelton, PA; Anthropology; Ph.D.; The Graduate Center, City University of New York.
  • Eric Beeler; Roswell, GA; International affairs and Chinese; BA; The George Washington University; Washington, D.C.; William J. Levy Scholar.
  • Daniel Berezoswsky; Mexico City, Mexico; International Affairs; MA; Columbia University, NY; HBO Scholar.
  • Dawn Betts-Green; Sylacauga, AL; Library and Information Studies; Ph.D.; Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fl.
  • Melanie Camejo Coffigny; Calimete, Cuba; Neuroscience & Psychology; BS; Duke University, Durham, NC; Toyota Financial Services Scholar.
  • Bryce Celotto; Charlotte, NC; Teaching; MA; Brown University, Providence, R.I.
  • Guru Charan; Trichy, India; Business; MBA; Yale University, New Haven, CT; HSBC Scholar.
  • May Chen; San Francisco, CA; Public Health; Ph.D.; The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Chapel Hill, NC; Janssen Therapeutics Scholar.
  • Bridgette Davis; Donahue, IA; Social Work; Ph.D.; University of Chicago.
  • Ian Ellasante; Memphis, TN; University of Arizona; Ph.D.; American Indian Studies; Tucson, AZ.; Calamus Scholar.
  • Tarek Ellis; Virginia Beach, VA; Chemistry & Pre-Dental; BS; Georgia State University; Atlanta, GA.
  • Mel Ferrara; Pompton Plains, N.J.; Gender Studies; Ph.D.; University of Arizona; Tucson, AZ.
  • Kevin Henderson; Cleveland, OH; Political Science; Ph.D.; University of Massachusetts Amherst; ViiV Scholar.
  • Chai Jindasurat; Norman, OK; Public Policy; MPP; New York University.
  • Hadden Kelley; Albany, GA; Environmental Engineering; BS; Georgia Institute of Technology; Atlanta, GA.
  • Elias Lawliet; Joplin, MO; Gender Studies; BA; University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Jazz McGinnis; Portland, OR; Social Work; MSW; University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, MI; Rand Skolnick Scholar.
  • Madeline Pavek; Rochester, MN; Political Science & Gender Studies; BA; American University; Washington, D.C.
  • Dylan Rice; Cumberland, MD; Neurobiology; BS; Harvard College; Cambridge, MA; HSBC Scholar.
  • Whit Ryan; Cleveland, OH; Sports and Performance Psychology; MA; University of Denver.
  • Margaret Grace Wickerson; Englewood, FL; Materials Science & Nanoengineering; BS; Rice University; Houston, TX; HSBC Scholar.
  • Johannes Wilson; New York, NY; Nursing; BS; Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions; Boston, MA.

Biographies for the 2016 Point Scholar class as available online.

The 2016 recipients of the Point Community College Scholarship, including their school and area of study:

  • Cameron Brenner; Los Angeles Pierce College; Woodland Hills, CA; Theater Arts.
  • Kerri Cecil; Los Angeles City College; Cinema and Television Production.
  • Nelson Jarrin; LaGuardia Community College, Queens, N.Y.; Human Services.
  • Julius Caezar Lazo Jr.; Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA; General Education.
  • Lavrenti Lopes; Los Angeles City College; Film Production.
  • Angel L. Medina; Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, CA; Deaf Studies & American Sign Language Interpreting Program.
  • Aaron Ramirez; LaGuardia Community College, Queens, N.Y.; Psychology.
  • Steven Roa; LaGuardia Community College, Queens, N.Y.; Business Administration.
  • Ebony Robertson; El Camino College, Torrance, CA; Nursing.
  • Hope Rugley; West Los Angeles College; Culver City, CA; Psychology.
  • Vanessa Watson; Fashion Institute of Technology; New York City; Production Management in Fashion and Related Industries.

Biographies are available at Point’s website.