Point Foundation scholarships

A couple weeks ago I wrote about our scholarships for Marion County students. We started doing this maybe 10 years ago and are glad every day that we’ve made the investment. The students we’ve helped will certainly make a great contribution to Marion County, to Ohio, or to whatever community they end up in, and hopefully they too will extend a hand someday to help the next generation of students.

3-4 years back, we also were introduced to the Point Foundation, whose mission (in their own words) is to provide “financial support, mentoring, leadership training and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” We became a supporter of their scholarship programs, and have continued to support ever since. We’ve heard personally from young kids who were cut off from family support because of their LGBT status, and these stories are just heartbreaking. Casting aside young people because of their orientation is terrible, and so we happily support any effort to give these kids a bit of help in the world. We can never make up for the loss of support from their family or community, but if our financial assistance helps them through some tough times, we feel great about it.

We have been fortunate financially and so we can reach out and help on the financial issues for young people. If you are also fortunate, we’d encourage you to reach out and help a group as well, whether it be kids in your community, or kids in an interest group you care about, or any other set of kids. And if you can’t help monetarily, well these young people need encouragement and mentoring and guidance and emotional support and everything else. Do what you can to help them get ahead.

OSU scholarships for Marion County residents

For about the 10th year now we are providing funding for scholarships for Marion County residents and Marion County high school graduates. We’ve used different mechanisms in the past, but for the last 5-6 years we’ve done this through the OSU financial aid office as need-based scholarships for Marion County residents or Marion Country high school graduates, any high school in the county, attending any OSU campus. If you know someone who is from the Marion area and wants to attend OSU and needs some help, make sure they ask about!

We have a deep and ongoing connection to the Marion area — we had great experiences growing up there. Much of our extended family still live there and we get back for an extended visit once a year. We are blessed with families who encouraged and supported us to get our educations, educations which have meant a lot to us. And we have fond memories of our time at The Ohio State University. So we want to support the community, the university, and the students who need some help.

And the students who have been awarded scholarships so far are just awesome. We met about 10 of the then-current students a couple years ago at an OSU tailgate and they were all so impressive. Big goals, hard working, youthful vigor — it was inspiring to be around them. Just having a lunch with these students was a huge lift for us.

We’ve never been very vocal about our support but in these times of economic challenge, we felt it was important to become a little more vocal. We hope that everyone does what they can to support and encourage the full development of our young students. Some of these young people will go on to create businesses and jobs, lead our communities, enrich our lives through their art, or otherwise make a great contribution to our lives. Having them sidelined because they can’t quite make the economics of college work out, or having them burdened with a mountain of student loan debt — neither of these seem like good outcomes. So we do what we can, and we hope and trust that others do as well.