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Point Foundation announces expansion and staff additions
Jorge Valencia to assume leadership of nation’s largest LGBT scholarship foundation

by Cathy Renna

Jorge Valencia is the new executive director of the Point Foundation.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Point Foundation, the national non-profit founded to support LGBT youth academic achievement in higher education, announced last month a number of significant changes in organizational structure and staffing, including a transfer of their base of operations to Los Angeles and major staff additions. Jorge Valencia has also began his tenure as executive director after being appointed to the position earlier in 2006. 

Valencia previously served as the executive director of The Trevor Project, the non-profit organization that operates the nation’s only around-the-clock suicide prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth, a position he has held since 2001. 

“We have all eagerly anticipated Jorge’s taking the reigns at Point,” said Bruce Lindstrom, founder and until recently interim executive director of the Point. “His expertise in and passion for helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth and his non-profit experience give us great hope that our growing success can more effectively address the increasing needs of scholars and potential scholars across the nation,” concluded Lindstrom.

“In the short time the Point has been doing this work, we have truly begun to appreciate the scope of the challenges faced by LGBTQ young people and those seeking access to higher education,” said Valencia, newly appointed executive director. “I am both thrilled and honored to build on the extraordinary work of the Point’s original trustees and staff and increase our support from and visibility with the LGBT and allied community, corporations and educational institutions,” continued Valencia.

“I am particularly excited to begin this work as we enter a new scholarship application cycle,” said Valencia. “Choosing the new class of scholars is by far the most rewarding part of this position and we’re all eager to review the applications from the individuals who will represent the next generation of LGBT leaders, which the Point will support and mentor.”

In addition to the long anticipated start of Valencia’s tenure, the organization is also taking additional steps to grow in size and influence. The Point’s base of operations will reside in Los Angeles. Other staff additions and changes include the hiring of Chris Fritzen as development director and Darrin Wilstead as executive and development associate. Fritzen has extensive experience as senior development officer in developing, managing and nurturing major donors for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), which raised $12.3 million in private donations last year. Wilstead was previously with the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) in development, administration, leadership training and conference coordination. Valencia has also named longtime staffer Nanci Glogauer as his chief of staff.

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