Point Foundation, the largest provider of LGBT college scholarships in America, has announced a new scholarship in honor of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who committed suicide following an incident of alleged bullying due to his perceived sexual orientation that is currently the matter of a criminal trial.
Clementi’s suicide was one among a number of high-profiled teen suicides last year that began a international dialog on bullying and bullying prevention.
The scholarship was created with the help of Tyler’s parents, Joe and Jane Clementi.
“Our son Tyler was a kind and gentle young man who enjoyed helping people,” said Joe and Jane Clementi.
“This scholarship will help college students and it will raise awareness of young people who are subject to abuse through malicious bullying – and so it will help people in Tyler’s memory. We are happy to be supportive of Point Foundation and we thank them for establishing this scholarship.”
Clementi, from Ridgewood, New Jersey, was a talented violinist, a member of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra and concertmaster of the Bergen Youth Orchestra.
“While it’s a privilege to memorialize the life of Tyler Clementi, it’s unfortunate that it takes tragedies like this to bring to light what many in the LGBT community and our straight allies have known for a long time – that intolerance and violence inflicted upon our youth is rampant,” stated Jorge Valencia, Point’s Executive Director & CEO.
A Point Scholarship covers tuition, books, supplies, room and board, transportation and living expenses, and is set up with the individual’s college to meet the unique needs of the Point Scholar. Point Scholars receive far more than financial support. Point strives to equip Point Scholars with skills to ensure a lifetime of exceptional leadership. In addition they are constantly connected with a support network of professionals through Point’s Mentoring Program, who are personally committed to the scholars’ well-being and future success; more than a network, they are a chosen family of supportive individuals who understand and care.
All Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and give back to the LGBT community through the completion of an individual community service project. Each Point Scholar makes a personal investment in his or her own future by either working while studying or acquiring debt to help finance their education.
This comes as the White House on Thursday opened its doors to students, teachers and parents for a conference on bullying and bullying prevention. Read more about that event here.
The Clementi scholarship also arrives as lawmakers in Congress simultaneously introduced into the House and Senate the Student Non-Discrimination Act, a federal anti-bullying bill that would add perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to existing federal protections. Read more about that here.
For more information about Point Foundation, click here to go to their website.