Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Report shows religious right strategy on LGBT equality Report shows religious right strategy on LGBT equality
Within a few short years now, legal same-sex marriage has arrived in ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Point scholars excel in, out of classroom
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2012-07-18

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Angela Filley. Photos courtesy of the Point Foundation


Among this year's 29 undergraduate and graduate students receiving Point Foundation Scholarships, five have local connections: Angela Filley, Tyler Kissinger, Alyssa Mandula, Pete Subkoviak and Kayla Wingert.

They were chosen out of nearly 2,000 scholarship applicants, and join the 47 Point Scholars currently receiving financial assistance and programming support from the foundation for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Filley—who grew up in West Lafayette, Ind.—will be studying financial engineering with a minor in sustainable energy beginning this fall at Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in New York City. Although Filley was accepted by her family and close friends when she came out of the closet, she said she was disappointed by the way that her community and school responded to her sexual orientation. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Filley decided to implement the "ThinkB4YouSpeak" campaign at her high school and was active in launching her high school's gay-straight alliance.

Eager to begin working towards her future career goals, Filley has been doing research at Purdue University on a comparative analysis of cap and trade policies. Through this research, Filley was introduced to the challenge of energy security. This has inspired Filley's strong commitment to develop and implement sustainable energy resources. She also worked at the Birck Nanotechnology Center in a lab that develops regenerative solar cells. Currently, Filley is working in an agricultural and biological engineering lab that deals with water quality.

Science is just one of many other passions that Filley has pursued. In the business arena, Filley was involved in her high school's business organizations and has served as state president of the Indiana Future Business Leaders of America. Politics is also an important part of Filley's life. To feed that passion, she plans on working to challenge anti-LGBTQ policies.

In order to fulfill her future goals, Filley began researching scholarship opportunities to offset the cost of college. While searching the web, Filley came across Point's website. Reading more about the organization, Filley said she found that the organization's mission was applicable to her situation. The mentor program excited Filley the most, she explained, since she has only had one out adult to look up to where she grew up. After some initial fears about being out and how that would affect her future career plans, Filley decided that visibility was the best option so she went ahead and submitted her application.

On finding out that she was chosen as a Point Scholar, Filley said, "It was surreal. It was pretty funny actually because the best part was that even if I hadn't been named a Point Scholar I wouldn't have been disappointed because after meeting all the finalists in San Francisco and hearing all the other amazing stories, I thought everyone deserved their accolades and then some. I didn't even have an inkling of who would be chosen, and I definitely did not envy the Point regents and board members' job. So hearing that I had been selected to be a scholar meant a lot to me. It is very difficult to describe the joy I felt knowing that not only would I be receiving a scholarship, but would now be a part of a community so inextricably tied together by a passion for the pursuit of equality."

Kissinger—who hails from a suburban town outside Winston-Salem, N.C.—will major in physics and mathematics with a focus on astrophysics and network mathematics beginning this fall at the University of Chicago (U. of C.) with the hope of becoming a university professor. During his early teen years, Kissinger focused on academics to avoid confrontation about issues surrounding his sexuality. To escape an environment in which he had to mask a part of himself, Kissinger transferred to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics—a public, residential high school located in Durham, N.C.

Thriving in his new high school environment, Kissinger pursued a number of academic and personal interests including serving as the co-president of his school's Spectrum Gay-Straight Alliance and as an activist fighting against the anti-gay North Carolina marriage amendment (which ultimately passed). Kissinger's school honored him with the "Golden Cupola" award for his leadership, citizenship and community service.

Kissinger told Windy City Times that he plans on continuing to work on political causes to help the oppressed and those without a voice.

Knowing that he wanted to study at the U. of C., Kissinger applied for a Point Scholarship since he needed additional money—he will also be receiving grants and federal loans—to offset the high cost of attending the school. He heard about the scholarship from Kyle Vey, a previous scholar winner at his high school, and remarked that he fell in love with the organization during the selection process.

Reacting to the news that he was selected as a Point Scholar, Kissinger said, "I got the phone call while I was eating dinner in the cafeteria at school. As soon as I saw the area code on my phone, I knew what the call was about. I went outside—heart pounding—and was fortunate enough to get the good news I was hoping for.

"I was almost in tears; it was raining outside, and I could barely breathe. I felt so secure, knowing that this organization was willing to invest in my future and would help me accomplish my dreams. More than anything, I felt so incredibly honored to be a part of such a talented, successful and passionate group of people that makes up the Point Foundation."

Mandula—who was born and raised in Bloomington, Ill.—is currently double-majoring in peace justice and conflict studies and philosophy with a minor in LGBTQ studies at DePaul University. Although she grew up in a conservative town, Mandula started her high school's gay-straight alliance and ran the Central Illinois Safe School Alliance. Mandula's has also worked as a national ambassador for GLSEN, served on the Youth Advisory Council for The Trevor Project and served as a peer educator for Planned Parenthood.

As a freshman at DePaul this past year, Mandula has continued her advocacy work with the university's LGBTQ group Spectrum. Through this work, Mandula has become more passionate about equality and plans on making a career out of fighting for educational equality for transgender and gender queer youth. Mandula also noted that her older sister Holly has been a motivating force in her life and she looks up to her sister as a mentor and friend.

Facing the prospect of massive student loans—having already accrued over $20,000 in loans after her first year in college—Mandula knew she had to get assistance since leaving DePaul was not an option. She applied for a Point Foundation scholarship, having heard about the organization through her work in LGBTQ activism.

"It was surreal," said Mandula of her Point scholarship. "Receiving the scholarship was the difference between me finishing my bachelors degree or having to drop out. It also has provided me with the comfort of knowing I have an amazing group of mentors and peers to help me make a difference in the queer community."

Subkoviak—who was born and raised in Madison, Wis.—will be pursuing a masters in public health with a focus on policy and leadership at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Although born in a female body, Subkoviak never identified as anything other than male and from the age of 3 he declared that he was a boy. Subkoviak noted that his childhood was fraught with turmoil; however, when he moved into his teen years he gained a second chance on life when he began to physically transition. Throughout the transition process, Subkoviak had the support of his family and friends.

While attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Subkoviak began teaching medical and education professionals about the transgender community. He also spent time as an intern for then-Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., while attending the university. After Subkoviak graduated he moved to Chicago and worked for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago for the last six years. With his degree, Subkoviak hopes to address the systemic failures of the health care system at both the state and federal level through his public health work.

Along with his other advocacy work, Subkoviak has partnered with a local charity to create an innovative transgender employment program that they plan on implementing over the next year and if it is successful it will be the first dual housing and employment program for the transgender community.

Subkoviak's decision to apply for a Point Foundation Scholarship stemmed from his desire to gain personal and professional development outside of the academic realm as well as what the foundation provides in the way of the financial support.

"When I got the news that I had been chosen as a Point Scholar, I just felt incredibly humbled, affirmed, and invigorated to redouble my efforts and meet my academic and professional aspirations," said Subkoviak. "It's tremendously important to feel supported while making your way in the world as an LGBT student, so that in and of itself is a wonderful gift which Point provides to so many."

Wingert—who grew up in suburban Western Springs, Ill.—will be majoring in sports/entertainment/event management at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I. Coming out as a lesbian at the age of 16 to supportive parents, Wingert has fought to promote anti-bullying efforts and garner support for the LGBTQ community in her predominately conservative neighborhood and within her Catholic high school.

Although the administrators at her high school turned Wingert down when she wanted to start an LGBTQ support group and her request to hold an LGBTQ anti-bullying week, she successfully ran two workshops for students on the topics of tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Wingert was also asked by the school administration to host a mandatory workshop for the school's staff and faculty about incorporating LGBTQ students into the classroom environment. After graduating from college, Wingert said she wants to work as an event coordinator for a non-profit organization that benefits and serves the LGBTQ community.

Wingert decided to send in her application after finding it online through the Trevor Project. She said that her parents lacked the means to send her to college due to financial difficulties brought on by her father's unemployment status. Wingert said this scholarship opportunity gave her hope that there were supportive people who knew she had potential and wanted to see her succeed.

"When I first received the news from Point that I was named a scholar, I was completely humbled," she said. "I am so grateful that the Point Foundation saw my potential and acknowledged my hard work by deciding to support me in my continuing education."

This year's crop of winners is, according to the foundation, the most racially diverse scholar class in its history, with 45 percent of the new scholars identifying as other than white. Women make up 41 percent of the scholars this year, compared to the 32 percent in the 2011 class. Rural-area recipients account for 39 percent of the new scholars, and 28 percent of the new scholars are the first generation in their families to go to college.

In order to receive the scholarship—which averages about $15,000 per year for each student—students agree to give back to the LGBTQ community by participating in an individual community service project each year. Each scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development and training in civic engagement. After graduation, Point Scholars are connected with professional contacts around the country to assist them as they make the transition into the workplace.

Point Foundation Executive Director/CEO Jorge Valencia said, "Point Foundation owes much of its success to the support of Chicagoans. Some of our first board members came from the Chicago area, as do two of our current national board members, and Point has a Chicago Board of Trustees. We've held our annual Scholar and Alumni Leadership Conference here four times, and we are incredibly grateful for the continued generosity of businesses in Illinois.

"Point is proud to have a growing number of current scholars and alumni who have Chicago roots and connections; the city is an integral part of their academic and professional achievement. We're looking forward to seeing many of the scholars and alumni at our Aug. 8 Chicago Cornerstone Society reception."

For more information on the Aug. 8 Chicago Cornerstone Society reception, visit www.pointfoundation.org/page.aspx and www.pointfoundation.org .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Youth homeless summit releases task force survey 2014-07-21
Alliance names Anthony Papini new executive director 2014-07-16
Report outlines workplace barriers for LGBT youth 2014-07-16
Georgia man sues 2014-07-16
Vernita Gray LGBTQ youth fund holds inaugural fundraiser 2014-07-16
Film about adoption premieres at Center 2014-07-16
Report looks at youth of color views on LGBT agenda 2014-07-16
Eychaner Foundation announces "1,000 Kids for Iowa" 2014-07-15
ISU to make 'all-gender' restrooms available on campus 2014-07-11
Public invited to view youth-led art installation 2014-07-08
Buffalo Grove student wins national award 2014-07-08
Wade to step down as TransLife director 2014-07-08
Film highlights Birth Certificate Access Law 2014-07-03
ISU to host LGBTA college conference in 2015 2014-07-02
Play takes a look at undocumented queer youth 2014-07-02
Youth-led public art highlights need for family conversations 2014-07-02
Supreme Court lets stand CA's ban on ex-gay therapy 2014-07-01
WCT 30 Under 30 Awards presented 2014-06-27
Fighting for LGBT rights earns student scholarship 2014-06-26
Gov. Quinn signs anti-bullying bill 2014-06-26
Locals among newest Point Scholars 2014-06-25
Youth summit attendee creates resource website 2014-06-25
This Is Our Youth 2014-06-25
LGBT music groups help Russian youths with 'Beautiful' project 2014-06-25
Windy City Times 30 Under 30 to be honored June 26 2014-06-25
26th Indy Pride marks diversity 2014-06-24
LGBTQA youth retreat examines spirituality 2014-06-24
University LGBT centers and ex-gay attacks 2014-06-24
HBHC town hall tackles youth health issues 2014-06-22
About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble presents Checking Boxes 2014-06-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit report released 2014-06-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit report released 2014-06-17
ALMA hosts second annual LGBTQ youth conference 2014-06-11
Spotlight: Youth Empowerment Performance Project's Faces 2014-06-11
LGBT teachers' group presents annual award 2014-06-08
Debut performance of FACES June 12, 13, 14 2014-06-06
GSA Network alum Yordy Cancino freed from ICE detention 2014-06-06
Out as college athlete, Chicagoan still holds school record 2014-06-05
Study: Sex ed can curb violence 2014-05-31
Anti-bullying measure passes legislature 2014-05-29





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Women & Children bookstore sold
 
HIV cure: One step back, many paths forward
 
Alliance names Anthony Papini new executive director
 
Hobby Lobby still fighting to deny trans* woman's rights
 
Chicagoan to continue triathlon journey at Gay Games 9
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.