GLAAD congratulates Communications and Public Relations Intern Jacob Rudolph for being selected as a 2014 Point Foundation scholar! We're so proud of your accomplishments and the work you did to get here. It's an honor to have you representing the LGBTQ community.
For those of you who don't know, Point Foundation is the national LGBTQ scholarship fund. It serves to empower promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic success and leadership potential, despite the obstacles they often face. The foundation's goal is to help these students make significant and effective impacts on society, and it provides programs that affect social change by challenging attitudes that contribute to social stigma and its resulting prejudice.
Students applying for the Point Foundation scholarship do so because their families are either unable or unwilling to support their goals to achieve a higher education. Those who are selected for the scholarship receive financial support and are also matched with mentors who are successful professionals in fields such as the arts, science, education, business, and more. Point Foundation, with the help of these chosen scholars, hopes to provide a greater level of acceptance, respect and tolerance within future generations for all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.
On receiving this scholarship, Jacob said:
I am so honored to have been selected as a Point Foundation Scholar. The application process was grueling and very competitive, but because of all the support I had from friends, family, and coworkers, I was always inspired to be the best youth advocate I could be. Everyone who was selected as a Point Scholar deserves this honor and I am thrilled to be in such extraordinary company. Through Point Foundation, I hope to do all that I can to continue giving young people a voice in our society and enable others to live the lives they love.
We know that Jacob fully deserves this scholarship. He has been a devoted LGBT advocate ever since he came out as LGBT very publicly during his senior year of high school. Since then he has marched with GLAAD in the 2013 Pride Parade, spoken in front of the NJ and NY State Senates regarding LGBT issues, and has appeared on Anderson Cooper and MSNBC. He has been fortunate enough to meet many of his LGBT idols along the way, including George Takei, Edie Windsor and Shane Bitney Crone.
He also works as an LGBT advocate at the University of Miami, where he is a rising sophomore. He is the current president of SpectrUM, the university's undergraduate LGBT advocacy organization, and senator in the student government. Most importantly, he has touched the lives of many LGBT youth who learned about his coming out story and sought his advice thereafter, including his fellow interns!
Speaking of whom, check out this photo of Jacob with two other interns, Joeli Katz and myself, from the time we met Edie Windsor at an LGBT rally for homeless youth in Washington Sqaure Park!
To read Jacob's first-hand account of his coming out story, click here. And don't forget to watch his inspiring coming out speech: