Story posted June 15, 2009
George Aumoithe Jr. '11 has been selected as a member of the Point Foundation's 2009 Scholar Class. The Point Foundation, the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit, provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to students who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Aumoithe is co-founder and co-editor of Q Magazine, which addresses LGBT issues on campus. He is also student director of the Queer-Trans Resource Center and coordinates OutPeers, a peer-mentoring program that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students.
"Receiving a Point Scholarship presents me with innumerable opportunities to continue my liberal arts education at Bowdoin and to affect change for not only the LGBTQ community at Bowdoin, but in much wider contexts," Aumoithe said.
Aumoithe was raised in a conservative Haitian immigrant household in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with his single mother. Growing up in an evangelical Christian congregation where sexual difference is strictly forbidden, Aumoithe was forced to hide his sexuality while he listened to fiery sermons railing against homosexuality.
When he came out to his mother during his first year of college, she ostracized and cut him off, leaving his college education in peril.
Determined to preserve and further his education, Aumoithe secured a Freeman-ASIA grant and completed a language intensive program at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities.
"Bombarded by the current-day fight over issues important to many LGBTQ people spanning same-sex marriage to equal adoption rights, I can't help but think that we sometimes lose insight on the stories and perspectives of LGBTQ youth," said Aumoithe.
"The Point Foundation's mission to support LGBTQ students who have been marginalized is important in a world where many lose access to an education rightfully theirs. There are so many horror stories about LGBTQ youth living on the streets or having no means of financial support."
Aumoithe is currently a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, conducting a social and architectural history of LGBTQ social spaces in New York and Chicago.
Aumoithe, one of 11 undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate scholarship recipients selected from an applicant pool of more than 2,400, is pursuing a double major in history and Africana studies, with a minor in gay and lesbian studies. He hopes to take his political, activist, and intellectual passions into public service, non-profit work and academia, working to paint a more diverse portrait of LGBTQ lives through history and queer theory.