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Front and Center Issue 26
|Advocates Honored by the White House as LGBT Emerging Leaders
For most people, an invitation to be honored by the White House is a dream – one that came true on Wednesday, September 19, for Center advocates and interns Skyler Cruz, Shaquana Green and Patricia González-Ramírez.
|These three outstanding Center representatives were honored as Emerging LGBT Leaders at the Vice President's Residence in Washington, DC, where they joined approximately 150 advocates from 34 states to discuss the work the administration is doing nationally and internationally in the LGBT community.
"It felt great to be recognized and honored by the White House," said Shaquana, a youth advocate for the Center's Foster Care Project. "I felt like I meant something to this community and I was excited to tell everyone I knew. This is a highlight of my life and I can't explain how it makes me feel as a role model for my younger sisters."
"Skyler and I spent all morning at the LGBT Policy Roundtable where we participated in discussions and presentations, including LGBT Rights are Human Rights, a Legal Update and Health and Safety for LGBTQ Youth," said Patricia, Gender Identity Project Group Facilitator and former Lesbian Cancer Initiative Community Outreach and Program Promotions Peer Intern. Congratulations to Shaquana, Skyler and Patricia, and thank you for your amazing dedication to the Center and the community! Your work inspires and humbles us all.
About the Advocates
Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Youth Leadership & Learning Lab Specialist
Sky has worked at the Center since 2008 and provides LGBT youth with support around job skills, education, leadership opportunities and interpersonal skills through facilitation of several support groups, as well as the Peer Education and Older Adult Technology Service Internship programs. He began working with youth at the age of 17 as a part of the Police Athletic League through the Summer Youth Employment Program. Sky has a BA in Philosophy from Connecticut College and is currently pursuing a master's degree at the Hunter College School of Social Work.
Gender Identity Project (GIP) Group Facilitator and former Lesbian Cancer Initiative (LCI) Community Outreach and Program Promotions Peer Intern
Patricia González-Ramírez started working at the Center in 2010 as Peer Educator and Outreach Intern for the LCI. Developing educational resources around cancer prevention, screenings and holistic wellness, she has become an advocate in the struggle to end health disparities in LGBT communities. She is a facilitator for support groups at the GIP and an active member of the Audre Lorde Project, where she works around language accessibility for LGBTSTGNC immigrants. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Patricia graduated from The New School with a BA in Cultural Studies, with a focus on gender and media.
Center Families LGBT Foster Care Project Peer Intern
Shaquana grew up in the foster care system of New York. She was a participant at the Center's YES program and later became a LGBT Foster Care Project (FCP) intern. In this role, she co-facilitates trainings and shares her personal experiences with foster care agencies and officials at the NYC Administration for Children's Services to ensure LGBT foster youth are treated with respect and dignity. When she became emancipated, she adopted her two siblings and is now raising them on her own. She is also attending college and pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work.
|Center Announces Exciting Renovation Project
Later this year, the Center will break ground on an ambitious renovation to enhance your Center experience for decades to come.
The design of the project represents the culmination of years of feedback provided by Center users and visitors, including focus groups, surveys and individual conversations. And it builds on the vision of our founders who believed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people deserve a Center that is welcoming, functional and beautiful.