|YouthResource Online Peer Educators|
YouthResource, a Web site by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) young people explores issues of concern to GLBTQ youth. YouthResource peer educators are young people aged 13-24 from diverse backgrounds. They are located in all parts of the United States. All of them are trained to point you to great resources to help you out with your concerns about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, and your concerns around sexual health. They also write articles for the YouthResource Web site.
Meet the Peer Educators:
Activism has always played a major part in my life. Throughout my life I have been involved in many causes such as women's, adolescent, minority, and GLBTQ health. But I didn't get fully involved in the youth sexual health and rights movement until I was in college and I noticed all the different groups and organizations I could be a part of.
When I came to college, all of the things I had seen in high school were just the same and they motivated me to make and be a part of the change I wanted to see. I never wanted to see someone mistreated for their sexual orientation and I know there is a way to reduce the amount of STIs circulating with the right education. While in college I have participated on campus as a peer educator for sexual health issues for students on campus. I have also taken an active interest on my campus involving GLBTQ youth, involving peer education program in that area. Advocates for Youth and YouthResource have given me the tools to continue my efforts.
Being a part of Advocates for Youth and YouthResource, I just want my generation and those following to be able to be themselves, and fearless, knowing that they can live in the world and be respected. My other important mission would be to help my peers understand their need to protect themselves and know there is information. We as a community have to be proactive, use our knowledge and give it to those around us. It is important that we advocate for sexual health and rights for ourselves and the future because if we don't no one will and there can be no change. My friendships, my peers, and my love for the community motivate me. We have the greatest capacity to change this country and world and I am grateful I can be a part of it. I'm here to answer any questions about advocacy, YouthResource, or opportunities. Stay educated. Educate.
Thinking back to my experience coming out to family and friends, I cannot help but think of the sheer fear and loneliness that I felt during those times. Perhaps it was the helplessness or isolation that I felt during those first few months, the questions or the intrigue I had about all those feelings and emotions inside of me. Whatever it was, I think back at those moments and I cannot help but be extremely interested and highly motivated in helping others overcome those feelings and those moments in life.
For many years of my life, helping youth realize that they are not alone in their life endeavors; helping youth understand their rights and their power within their everyday lives; empowering youth to take charge of their identity; empowering them to become who they are; and empowering youth to ask questions and challenge group mentality and majority opinions, has been my life work.
It has been that personal drive and interest that has lead to where I stand today in life. In my professional life, I work at Portland's largest non-profit youth development organization. Our mission is to provide guidance to youth ages 6-18 and instill within each of them a sense of belonging and power and influence over their lives. We work to enable all our members to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens and we instill these potentials in every program and activity we do.
Born in Panama, I was raised in Portland, Oregon where I continue to make my home today. It is here where I continue to advocate for the rights and responsibilities of youth of all ages. My advocacy work, at various governmental, non-governmental, community and advocacy entities has revolved around issues primarily related to youth adolescent risky behaviors, gender & sexual identity, and leadership development. Character development, cultural awareness, and fostering and nurturing leadership have also been passions of mine for some years now.
It is my personal belief and my conviction that every child, every young person, if given the right tools in life, can achieve anything they dare to achieve. Empowering youth to reach their full potential, to do what is hard and achieve what is great is my passion. I know a little bit about everything and I'm always standing by with an open mind ready to listen to any question or thoughts you may have.
Hello my name is Rikki, I got involved with Advocates for Youth because I wanted to be a better resource for my campus. We had no official LGBT Center and I inherited the mock LGBT Center, which was just a student office managed by a small group of students. I had no clue what a resource center should look like. Then I found Advocates for Youth, specifically Youth Resource. My life changed. I started tuning in to some of the greater issues, which in this case included activism as a lifelong practice to make something better.
I started falling in love with the idea that, my voice could create change and this organization (Advocates for Youth) was here to help me. Activism is important because it is the only way to create change, when I repeatedly stand up for what I believe in, for example equal human rights or the right to know about your own sexual reproductive health, I create awareness and through that awareness others tune in, like I did. This is a beautiful phenomenon, especially when many people are involved.
I am still involved as an active citizen because I feel this is the only way to remain knowledgeable and the only way to hold Politician and the Government accountable. Not to mention that not everyone is equal. Slowly but surely, as long as people like you and me stand up for what we believe in, we can move towards a better place. Activism can be simple; I learned that through watching the amazing people I have met at Advocates for Youth. Use your voice!
Hello, I am Lindsay. I am a young bi/pan/queer youth trying to figure my place out in the world. As a college graduate without a long-term job I am hopping around the world making changes along the way. Clearly I struggle with finding my place and language I am comfortable learning but I embrace my ongoing process and transformation into this world.
I am passionate about gender and sexuality both in my studies and in my other involvements, I feel strongly about activism and education as a mode of change in communities. I have seen first hand youth's role in these changes and understand that we are a powerful and effective method to create the change we want to see in the world.
In the beginning of 2010 I went on the SoulForce Equality Ride, where I dealt with issues of religion and sexuality in private colleges and universities around the country. While traveling I challenged and others' views on sexuality, gender, race, class and worldviews all the while continuing to shape my own views as well.
On a more personal level, I have struggled with finding a community that I feel fully comfortable with. Uneasy with terminology and struggling with my feminist politics, I understand why individuals, queer and straight alike, have trouble navigating the LGBT ‘scene'. However, I have not shied away: I feel that there is room to make communities better and you just have to have the strength in yourself to help make that change. All and all, I am passionate about the community, social justice, feminism, the right to comprehensive sex education, LGBTIQ equality, and youth rights.
I like listening to music, talking with friends, and poking random people on Facebook, but my true passion lies within the arts. I love to draw, paint, sculpt, and act. I even dabble in dance and singing. Both my High School and College are very diverse and open, and we freely explore the topics of sex, and how it affects teens. But I know in many areas of Georgia (where I attended High School) and Chicago (where I attend College), and all over the country, students are rarely given the opportunity to receive knowledge about sex, sexuality, and relationships.
Being sexually ignorant isn't a choice in today's society. It has many consequences which can be detrimental to one's health. No matter what sex, orientation, race, or age we are, we must strive for more comprehensive sex education in our high schools. My goal, as a Youth Activist, is to spread awareness to my peers, and to help in lessening the gap between unawareness and enlightenment.
My name is Belinda Kwakye and I have been in the United States for approximately ten years. I believe being an immigrant to this country gives me a unique perspective, which has helped me gain a better understanding of international issues, as well as local and personal issues. I have been an active participant in LGTBTQ (and all the other letters) advocacy for a long period of time. I am also actively involved in foster care advocacy. My advocacy work started with True Colors organization, which addresses sexual minority issues. I have been a panelist during their annual conference for three years. Through True Colors, I met my mentor and her partner who have I grown to admire immensely. Through True Colors and the Department of Children and Families, I have been able to spread my work vastly and I look forward to further expansion. Having struggled with familial neglect, the difficulties of coming out and sexual assault, it has become my lifelong goal to save at least one life so that they also, may save a life. I believe my involvement with YouthResource will allow me to be a positive resource for individuals in need of information and support.
Bio coming soon!