Clemson University student Tyler McDougald has received a Point Foundation Scholarship, which is awarded to student leaders in the LGBTQ community. He’s the first student from South Carolina to earn a Point Foundation Scholarship.
McDougald, a rising junior who is double majoring in English and history with a minor in philosophy, was born and raised in Greenville. Besides his studies, McDougald, 22, is the president of Clemson Rainbow Fellowship, an organization that provides peer mentorship to LGBTQ-identifying students. He also serves as the inclusion and equity chair in the university’s student government’s senate.
The Point Foundation Scholarships are worth an average of $10,000 per year, according to a university release. McDougald was one of 19 students across the country awarded the scholarship out of 2,300 applicants.
“Point Foundation strives to empower the next generation of LGBTQ leaders. Tyler is clearly someone who has dedicated himself to making Clemson a more accepting and inclusive campus for his LGBTQ peers, which is of vital importance in the South,” said Point Foundation program director Jonathan Rosales in an email.
McDougald’s Point Foundation Scholarship was made in honor of the late Alfred A. Cave, a professor and dean at the University of Toledo in Ohio. “I’m just very thankful for the Point Foundation and for the Cave family for making this possible for me,” McDougald said.
Students who earn the scholarship are also placed with a mentor and complete a service component, but the pandemic has slowed things down, McDougald said. Regardless, he said that he hopes to work with a mentor working in public service law and gender and sexual minority law.
As for being the first South Carolinian to be awarded the scholarship, McDougald said it was indicative of “the lack of infrastructure to not only support but empower and uplift queer people in South Carolina.”
He said that part of his plan is to use the resources from the Point Foundation to help other LGBTQ students. After his time at Clemson, McDougald plans to attend law school and go on to work for an organization such as the Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union or another organization working on LGBTQ rights and the rights of those with HIV.