Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and allied youth ages 13-24
Center Youth includes:
- Albany LGBTQ Youth Peer Support Group
- Schenectady LGBTQ Youth Peer Support Group- “Rainbow Nights”
- THRIVE Clinical Youth Group
- Center Youth Action Team
- Advocacy Opportunities for Youth
- Healthy Social Opportunities
- Capital Region Safe Schools Coalition
- Capital Region Gay Straight Alliance Network
- Advocating for Youth/Training Opportunities
The LGBTQ Youth Peer Support group in Albany meets every Friday at from 7pm to 8:30pm at the Pride Center, 332 Hudson Ave. This peer support group is a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13-18 to discuss issues of coming out, school, work, and relationships in a group of their peers and to socialize and meet new friends. Facilitated by trained volunteers, and supervised by Pride Center staff, the Peer Support Group empowers youth to become strong, independent, and community-minded and provides them with the opportunity to meet like-minded peers across school districts.
The LGBTQ Youth Peer Support group in Schenectady meets on the first and third Thursday of every month from 6pm to 7:30pm at Proctors Theater Underground space in Schenectady. This support group is a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13-18 to discuss issues of coming out, school, work, and relationships in a group of their peers and to socialize and meet new friends. Facilitated by trained volunteers, the Peer Support Group empowers youth to become advocates from themselves and provides them with the opportunity to meet like-minded peers across school districts. For more information contact James Shultis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 462-6138.
Want to volunteer? Check out our Schenectady Youth Group Facilitator Info-Session! Taking place Thursday, April 25th from 7-8PM at Proctors Theater Underground. Here’s the facebook event.
Starting on June 13th, the Pride Center will offer a therapist-led mental health and wellness group for young LGBTQ adults ages 16-24. THRIVE will meet for 10 weekly sessions and focus on positive social interaction, health, and transitioning into adulthood. THRIVE is free, confidential and interactive. Space is limited and an intake is required. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
The Center Youth Action team is the newest addition to the Capital Region Safe Schools Coalition. The Center Youth Action Team is designed to encourage youth leadership, contradict myths and stereotypes of the LGBT community, give voice to the rich diversity of the LGBTQ community, and provide positive representations of the LGBTQ and allied community. This unique program provides youth with training and speaking opportunities to help make schools safer while developing a sense of confidence and pride in their identities. The Center Youth Action Team conducts trainings and presentations for school teachers, administrators and GSA’s as well as community groups throughout the year.
If you are interested in joining the Center Youth Action or would like to schedule them to visit, please contact James Shultis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 462-6138 for more information!
Meet the 2012-2013 Center Youth Action Team!
A senior at Albany Academy for Girls and the President of her school’s Gay Straight Alliance. She is very passionate about social justice issues and hopes that her involvement on the Center Youth Action Team, and advocating for LGBTQ rights as an ally, will help inspire others to get involved. Alicia enjoys being in the spotlight, theater is one of her biggest passions.
A senior at Colonie High School. He joined the Center Youth Action Team after attending his first Gay Straight Alliance meeting where he was inspired by past members’ stories. He hopes his story helps others feel more comfortable, and get the support and community they need. In his spare time, Nick also volunteers with the Colonie Art League as a teaching artist, enjoys cross-country and indoor track, and biking.
A senior at Colonie High School where he is an ally and active member of his school’s Gay Straight Alliance, President of the National Honor Society, and a member of the Albany County District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board. Nick joined the Center Youth Action Team to promote the acceptance of all people, combat ignorant and misinformed opinions, and make schools safer for everyone.
A senior at Bethlehem Central High School and is the President of her Gay Straight Alliance. Allie joined the Center Youth Action Team to have the opportunity to be an LGBTQ activist and spread the word to stop hate and bullying in schools. She is enjoys theater, writing, rugby, and playing music.
A junior at Albany Leadership Charter High School. She started her own anti-bullying program at her school where she coordinates trainings and speaking engagements for students and faculty. Taylor became a Center Youth Action Team member, because she hopes to empower others with her story and visit new schools around the region.
A sophomore at Bethlehem Central High School where she is a co-Vice President of her school’s Gay Straight Alliance. Annina is also a part of the Lab School, a student-driven program situated inside BCHS, which encourages risk-taking, independent research projects, and interdisciplinary studies. She enjoys gymnastics, music, current events, and being involved in the community in whatever way she can!
A senior at Germantown High School. There she serves as the Treasurer of her student class, and prides herself on holding leadership positions in Drama Club, National Honors Society, and International Club. Currently, she is in the process of starting a LGBTQA club at her school. Josie enjoys theater, activism, music, and the outdoors.
A senior at Albany High School and an active member of her schools Gay Straight Alliance. Tiona is excited to be a part of the Center Youth Action Team, because she wants to be the change and encourage others to be visible within their communities either as LGBTQ or an ally. She is hoping to minor in LGBTQ studies in college.
The Center Youth Action Team is funded in part by The William and Mary Barnet Family Foundation.
Working with LGBTQ youth and their allies, the Pride Center empowers them to use their voice and tell their stories to elected officials on state and local levels in order to make change in our community. Because we are based in the seat of NYS government, youth members have a unique opportunity to make their voices heard on a state level. Opportunities include legislative visits and trainings, writing workshops and regional conferences on youth empowerment.
Building positive relationships is essential to all youth, but for LGBTQA youth, many times opportunities are limited. The Pride Center coordinates the LGBTQA Alternative Youth Prom each year, along with our community partners, and over 400 youth participate each year, along with almost 100 chaperones. This event, as part of Capital Pride week, gives participants a memory of a welcoming prom for years to come. Other social events include an annual Youth BBQ during the summer months, as well as other events throughout the year.
Looking to start a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) or an LGBTQA at your school? Take a look at some of the resources below to help you get started!
To talk with our Youth Program Coordinator, James Shultis more about this, call the office at (518) 462-6138 or email email@example.com! We work with students from all over the Capital Region to make schools more welcoming places to be!
The Pride Center works with over 30 school districts in the Capital Region to build welcoming environments for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We also provide presentations and in-service trainings to local and regional community organizations and agencies on promoting positive LGBT youth development.
If your agency is interested in working with the Pride Center, please fill out a SPEAKER REQUEST FORM and we will contact you.
The Capital Region Safe Schools Coalition is a multi-level initiative to provide schools, LGBT activists, and student groups the tools to make our local schools safe for all youth. This coalition educates the community about experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth, creates opportunities for meaningful youth leadership; empowers LGBT youth to be leaders in schools and our community and fosters a safer learning environment for youth to develop.
Key components of the Capital Region Safe Schools Coalition include:
- An expansive list of the schools who have pledged to prioritize the safety and growth of their LGBTQ students as well as those harassed because of the perception of their sexual orientation or gender identity;
- The Center Youth Action Team, a group of LGBTQ and ally youth ages 13-18 trained to advocate to create change in their schools; and
- The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Network, supporting the work of school-based LGBT groups.
We have worked with the students, teachers, or administrations of:
- Albany High School
- Averill Park High School
- Berlin High School
- Bethlehem Central School
- Bethlehem Middle School
- Ballston Spa High School
- Berlin Central High School
- Brittonkill Central School
- Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School
- Cairo-Durham High School
- Cambridge Central School
- Chatham High School
- Cobleskill-Richmondville High School
- Cohoes High School
- Colonie High School
- Columbia High School
- Emma Willard School
- Glens Falls High School
- Green Tech Charter School
- Guilderland High School
- Harriet Myers Middle School
- Harriet Tubman Democratic High School
- Hoosic Valley High School
- Hoosick Falls Central School
- Hudson High School
- Ichabod Crane High School
- Johnstown High School
- LaSalle School
- Mayfield High School
- Mohonasen High School
- New Lebanon High School
- Niskayuna High School
- Northville Junior/Senior High School
- Parsons Child and Family Services
- Ravena Middle School
- Ravena High School
- Rensselaer High School
- Saratoga Springs High School
- Schenectady High School
- Schuylerville High School
- Scotia-Glenville High School
- Shaker High School
- Shenendehowa High School
- South Glens Falls High School
- Stillwater High School
- Tamarac High School
- Troy High School
- Tech Valley High School
- Vanderheyden Hall
We have also worked with the following colleges:
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Russell Sage College
- Saint Rose College
- Siena College
- SUNY Albany
- Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
- Union College
- Hudson Valley Community College
- Schenectady County Community College
The Pride Center is inspired by the work being done all over the Capital Region by Gay Straight Alliance groups in over 30 high schools. In our work with many of the groups, we see how tirelessly their faculty advisors work, how motivated their student advisors are, and how few opportunities the groups have to connect with each other. In response, the Pride Center launched a network for the faculty and student advisors to connect, share ideas and support each other’s efforts in the coming year. The Gay Straight Alliance network meets on a regular basis, and creates opportunities for youth to create change in their schools like creating awareness of the issues LGBTQ students face and ways to be a better ally for this community.
For information on upcoming Gay Straight Alliance Network events, contact Youth Program Coordinator, James Shultis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 462-6138.