The Point Foundation has provided scholarships for LGBT students pursuing a variety of career fields, some of whom, upon coming out, have been kicked out by their families. Donors, scholarship recipients and Point Foundation executives and employees attended a summer soiree July 17 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to honor the group's latest crop of scholars and to continue to raise money for those in need. Among the attendees was Alderman Tom Tunney, who spoke in place of Mayor Richard Daley.
One of the foundation's newest scholarship recipients, Natalie Brilmyer, described becoming a Point scholar as "really exciting" and "kind of surreal." Brilmyer, who faced rejection from her family upon coming out to them, said the experience has been "the best thing that could happen" to her during her college career. Brilmyer studies fashion design and fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Kevin Ferenchak, a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, said the best part about being a Point scholar is the mentoring services provided by the organization.
Mark Cozzi, a three-year member of the foundation's board of regents, told Windy City Times that his inspiration for being involved with the organization has everything to do with the students it serves. "It's inspiring to meet people who are super-bright," Cozzi said. "It is unfathomable to me that people would mistreat kids who are LGBT. Some of them have been traumatized and brutalized. I think we have a moral obligation to help them," he added. Text by Mason Harrison; photos by Kat Fitzgerald ( MysticImagesPhotography.com ) Many more images can be seen at www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com