See also: Report on Joelle Ruby Ryan's NWSA Panel  in the December 2008 Point Foundation Mentoring Messenger



Point Foundation 5-2-07.jpg

Mentoring Messenger

Season's Greetings

December 2008

National Mentoring Month

In case you don't already know, January is National Mentoring Month.  Spearheaded for the past seven years by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, National Mentoring Month is a campaign designed to recruit volunteer mentors for youth.

Point's mentor-scholar group may not be classified as youth necessarily, but we encourage you to join the spirit of the campaign and do something special for your mentor/mentee during the month of January.  How about writing a sincere note of gratitude or verbally expressing your appreciation in person?  Emphasize what has gone well and how you have benefited from your mentorship.  Additionally, this would be a great opportunity for you to let your mentor/mentee know what would make the mentorship more meaningful to you in the future. 

Call for New Point Scholars and Mentors

On December 12, 2008, the online application for Point's presitgous scholarship became available.  To date, the number of applications opened within the first two weeks has increased by more than 343% compared to that of any other year in Point's history. 

Applications close on February 9, 2009, and a new scholar group will be selected in San Francisco between April 16-18, 2009.  Concurrently, each new scholar will need a mentor.  While it is too early to determine the professional fields in which we will need new mentors, we always welcome new mentor candidates in the geographic areas that tend to be the most heavily populated with Point Scholars.

• 20% - New York 

• 8% - Southern California 

• 18% - Boston

• 7% - Chicago

• 11% - Northern California       

• 5% - DC Metro Area

Please help us spread the word by encouraging meritorious LGBT students to apply for a Point Scholarship.  And if you know someone you feel would be an excellent Point Mentor, please let them know more about the program and encourage them to contact Mentoring & Alumni Program Director Darrin Wilstead if they are interested. 

Photo Contest 

Will you be meeting with your mentor/mentee over the upcoming holiday season?  If so, please take your camera and snap some fun pictures.  We are revising the Mentoring Program pages on Point's website and we want to replace the stock photos with real faces of our organization. In order to do this, we need current pictures from everyone.  We would also like quotes from mentors and scholars.   The quote can be anything from how your mentorship is going, to how mentoring has affected your life, to activities you enjoy. 

We realize that some mentor-scholar pairs are not in the same city. If this applies to you, please send your individual picture (and quote) instead. In January the Mentoring Subcommittee will vote on the best picture and the best quote. 

 AX Dufflebag.jpg

 Fancy Armani Exchange Gift Bag

 The mentor-scholar pair with the best picture and the mentor-scholar pair with the best quote will each be sent an Armani Exchange bag filled with assorted goodies (books, CD’s, DVD’s etc.). Those who are not selected will still be featured on the Point website and possibly other Point materials. We hope you'll help us personalize this section of our website by participating.

Please send your entries to Alumni & Conference Manager Jordan Brusso as soon as possible. The deadline is Friday, January 23rd.  Selection of the best pictures and quotes will begin on Monday, January 26th.  

Holiday Gatherings 

Holidays are the perfect time to check in with your mentor/mentee.  Recently Point Scholar Jonathan Doucette spent Thanksgiving with his mentor Richard Shirey.

 Richard and Jon 1.jpg

 Point Scholar Jonathan Doucette
and his mentor Richard Shirey

"It was incredibly difficult being away from home for Thanksgiving, especially given it was my first time, but my mentor Richard, his partner Jim, and Patch (possibly the cutest dog ever) made the transition a memorable one. We ate a delicious dinner skillfully cooked by the head chef, Jim, followed by a trip to the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra at Severance Hall the following night. During the trip, I got to know my mentor more and even got a personal tour of Akron, OH! (I promise it’s much more exciting than it sounds. Ok, well, maybe not that much more exciting...) The most enjoyable moment of my extended weekend with Richard was getting to hear him play on the organ. (My mentor went to Oberlin Conservatory to study organ and went on to teach at the University of Akron for many years.) It was truly an experience.

I am so thankful to Richard and Jim for opening their home to me during a particularly difficult time and to the Point Foundation for forging what I hope will be a long-lasting, meaningful relationship." 

**Please note that Point's Mentoring Program Handbook and Code of Conduct was revised in October of 2007, to included new recommendations for mentor spending limits and new policies for overnight stays.  Please take a moment to review the information and contact Point's Mentoring & Alumni Program Director if you have any questions.

Working Together on LGBT Community Service Projects 

Working together on a community service project can be a wonderful way to build and strengthen a mentorship. Last year, in the face of direct threats to her future academic career, Joelle Ruby Ryan courageously chaired a National Women’s Studies Association panel discussion on resisting transphobia in academia. Her mentor, Lynn Conway was by her side before, during and after the endeavor.  

Lynn was kind enough to report the session on her website at

 Joelle and Lynn.jpg


Joelle Ruby Ryan, Lynn Conway, Maria (aka 'Juanita') 
and Andrea James, the evening before the panel

Lynn Conway setting up the camera before the session 








"I am honored to have Lynn Conway as a mentor to share her wisdom with me, and to proffer advice and support to guide me on my journey to personal and professional fulfillment and success."
- Joelle Ruby Ryan, Ph.D. candidate, Bowling Green State University  

"It's been truly rewarding to interact with Joelle Ruby Ryan, and to follow her wonderful progress towards personal and career success
 - Lynn Conway, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Emerita, University of Michigan


Online Resource: 
Point's Scholar (and Mentor) Resource Page 

During the last two open forums for mentors, questions were raised about what Point expects of its scholars. For example, some mentors who have been meeting with their scholar on a regular basis were unsure of the requirements and deadlines for community service projects. Additionally, some mentors wanted to review examples of service projects that were being done by other scholars and mentors at Point.

To provide everyone in the Point family with convenient access to all "housekeeping" items, we’ve created a password protected page on Point’s website.  From the home page, click on "Resources" and select "Scholar Resource Section". Or, bookmark the following web page:

User name: XXXX
Password: XXXXXX

In addition to viewing a calendar of important dates for Point and the LGBT community, you’ll see links to important forms such as the Community Service Project Proposal, reports on last year’s projects and the Mentoring Handbook & Code of Conduct.

Reminder:  Community Service Project Progress Report 

In January, each scholar is expected to prepare a mid-year progress report on their community service project. Page 16 of the Scholar Contract of Excellence states, "Scholars will provide an outline and summary to their mentor and the Scholar & Alumni Program Director when submitting their transcript/academic progress report in January."

The report sent to Point can be a simple e-mail. Ideally, scholars will have already shared their service project with their mentor, so a verbal update will suffice.

Best Wishes for the Holidays and Happy New Year!

In This Issue



Important Dates

Monday, January 5
Community Service Progress reports from scholars to Point and mentors

Friday, January 23
Deadline for Mentor-Scholar photo and quote contest 

Monday, February 9
Deadline to submit online application for 2009 Point Foundation Scholarship Award 

Wednesday, March 5
Quarterly Open Forum for Mentors
11:00 a.m. PST
1:00 p.m. CST
2:00p.m. EST

April 16-18
2009 Scholar Selections
in San Francisco, CA


Contact Point's Program Department

Mentoring & Alumni
Program Director
Darrin Wilstead
(323) 933-1234 x222

Scholar Relations & Selections Program Director
Vincent Garcia
(323) 933-1234 ext. 226

Alumni & Conference Manager
Jordan Brusso
(323) 933-1234 ext. 233

Administrative Assistant
Ray Noll
(323) 933-1234 ext. 234





Point Foundation is the nation's largest publicly-supported organization granting scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit.



Point Foundation
5757 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 370
Los Angeles, California 90036
Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!




See also:

Report on Joelle Ruby Ryan's NWSA Panel  in the December 2008 Point Foundation Mentoring Messenger

Point Foundation Bullet Point alerts regents, trustees and staff about Joelle Ruby Ryan's upcoming IFGE Workshop



LynnConway.comTS InformationTrans News Updates >  December 2008 Point Foundation Mentoring Messenger