Thiel College Sophomore Announced as Semi-Finalist in Scholarship

By: Hannah Stoughton

March 15th, 2022: Sophomore Kylie Vergnola has advanced into the semi-finals in the Point Foundation’s Point Scholar Program.

The Point Foundation’s Point Scholar Program is a higher-education program that focuses on supporting and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community through means of creating a safe community and providing financial aid to the winner of the scholarship. Point Scholars tend to exhibit high levels of leadership and excel in their academics as well as having personal goals. The program gives more attention to students that no longer have a sense of community or family due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression, making the scholarship extremely selective.

Vergnola is a political science and sociology double-major that is an active member on campus. When they found out that they were a semi-finalist, they had a mixture of emotions. “I was shocked, nervous, and definitely proud,” she said.

Going into the scholarship, she wasn’t sure what to expect. She said that she was surprised to have been selected as a semi-finalist, due to the selective nature. “I worked hard for the scholarship and put a lot of time into preparing for it,” Vergnola said, “but I was unsure if I actually stood a chance.”

To be selected as a finalist, Vergnola must complete another round of submissions. “I have to complete a second round of materials consisting of transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an essay for the final round,” they offered.

Vergnola has said that the program has helped them even without being selected as a finalist or a scholar so far. “It made me realize that my identity isn’t going to be something that will inhibit me for the rest of my life. There are people and places advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. As much as it feels like the world is against us sometimes, there are pockets of hope and opportunity.”

The Point Foundation selects 60 scholars each year to participate in the program, and each scholar promises to maintain levels of high academic achievement, and they must contribute directly to the LGBTQ+ community with an independent service project each year.

Through the scholarship, scholars will receive leadership opportunities, mentoring training, and community service training. Upon graduation, they will become active alumni in the program to assist upcoming scholars.

Finalists in the program will be notified in late March of 2022, and the new class of scholars will be announced in June 2022 in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

Image Credit: Thiel College Press

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