The Center is a place the community can lean on and that lifts people. I wanted to be a part of that. I realized my passion and purpose is to do something that elevates people.
Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who identified as LGBTQ much less have any LGBTQ role models. Now, I lead a team who works directly with students, teachers, school administrators, and community members.
Normally we would be presenting in schools and having face-to-face meetings, but the COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed the way we do our business. We jumped on the technology train to learn as much as we could in a short amount of time. Now that school has started, we support Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) clubs and conduct trainings for students and teachers—all done virtually.
One of the highlights occurred at the start of the school year when we held a virtual training for teachers who wanted to learn how to provide affirming spaces for LGBTQ students in the time of COVID. This session was not mandatory for teachers—plus, it was being held in the evening after their long work day—but nearly 100 attended! It showed me that they want to be there for LGBTQ students who may not have an outlet to be themselves during these times other than a weekly one-hour GSA meeting.
I was reminded, once again, that working at the Center is a growing and humbling experience. It allows me to meet thousands of people. I’ve been able to learn from so many of them and have been able to contribute what I know to our community.
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Year Started Working at Center: 2017
Staff Position: CAN Program Supervisor/ Supervise School-Based Programs