TITUSVILLE, N.J. -- The Point Foundation has awarded Orange County college student Michael Haymer with a scholarship intended for LGBT students who have chosen to focus their studies on HIV/AIDS, or attend business school.
The scholarship, which is supported by Janssen Therapeutics, will provide financial assistance for Haymer, who is pursuing a joint MD-MBA degree from the PRIME Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The Point Scholarship is granted for a four-year period to graduating high school seniors and college students. As a Point Scholar, Haymer will receive financial assistance and will be matched with a successful professional who can serve as his mentor and role model.
Haymer and his four siblings were raised by their single mother, who died from complications of undertreated diabetes during his first year of medical school. As a tribute to her, Haymer focused his studies on serving under-resourced and vulnerable populations.
"I'm personally committed to my research and work as a community educator in the areas of LGBT and HIV health because I know firsthand how important it is to give a voice to underserved populations," Haymer said. "With this scholarship, I look forward to setting an example for other LGBT students interested in healthcare and continuing the tradition of Point Scholars."
He has a particular interest in the area of transgender healthcare. He directed the LGBT Health Student Symposium, which hosted more than 100 students from across the country. In recognition of his efforts, Michael received the UCLA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award.
Haymer also has experience in HIV research; he served as a community educator for an international HIV vaccine trial and conducted research on the use of mobile technology to improve community outreach methods for HIV/AIDS prevention.
In 2012, Janssen provided a Point Scholarship to medical student Siddarth (Sid) Puri to support his studies at University of California Davis School of Medicine. Puri was named co-director, class of 2014, of the student-run Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of uninsured drug users. The Point Scholarship helps Puri advance his efforts to provide culturally sensitive medical care to the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS.
"Since the start of the HIV epidemic, the LGBT community has played a leadership role in mobilizing the response. While great progress has been made, more than 30 years later HIV infection rates are rising among men who have sex with men and communities of color," said Ron Falcon, MD, Director of Marketing, HIV, Janssen. "Through the Point Foundation scholarship, Janssen is investing to help develop the next generation of leaders from the LGBT community to continue the fight against HIV."
More information about the Point Foundation is HERE.
More information about Janssen Therapeutics is HERE.