Annual Report FY2015
To foster leadership development among our volunteers, we created unique programs to encourage lasting engagement with The Trevor Project. Outreach volunteers inform folks about our services and our mission.
Youth Advisory Council
The Trevor Youth Advisory Council (YAC) serves as a liaison between youth nationwide and The Trevor Project, as it relates to young people and the issues surrounding suicide, sexuality, and gender identity. Twenty young people ages 16-24 convene quarterly via conference call, advising the organization on outreach and programmatic efforts for LGBTQ youth. Participants in the YAC have the unique opportunity to have their voices heard and implemented into the strategies of a national organization.
YAC Member: Juniper
“As a non-binary person of color, I’m bringing intersectional work into Trevor so that one day, all queer and trans people will have the ability to live their authentic lives.”
Juniper is a 19-year-old trans activist who started working with The Trevor Project’s Youth Advisory Council after the death of a close friend made her realize the importance of suicide prevention and mental health advocacy. She started educating herself about LGBTQ issues early on in high school and is now attending Citrus College as a political science major. “My involvement within the LGBTQ community has been led with the mentality that intersectional work is needed to address the pervasive mental health issues and lack of medical care within communities of color, especially trans communities of color. The future of Trevor is intersectional in the work it does and the staff it employs,” she says.
YAC Member: Dominic
“Trevor’s national impact has inspired me, from a young age, to become an advocate for equality and acceptance in my own community.”
Dominic is a transgender, queer, intersex dancer, student, and activist at the University of Redlands. After struggling with mental health issues as a result of growing up in an unaccepting home and school environment, he wanted to become an advocate for LGBTQ visibility and resilience. At his Catholic all-girls high school, he presented his personal story in freshman health classes to create open, judgement-free conversations on campus about sexual identity, gender identity, and sex, which he’s since presented at other schools and community events. He also serves as a volunteer on California’s Trans Youth Council. Within the YAC, Dominic has not only found a community of support, but is also enhancing his leadership and speaking skills. “I want to encourage others to show the world that openly identifying on the LGBTQ spectrum is a strength, not a weakness,” he says.
YAC Member: Conner
“I decided to become part of the Youth Advisory Council at Trevor because I am a product of the power that Trevor has.”
In 2014, Conner was the first active college football player to ever come out publicly about their sexuality. He started traveling the country giving talks about anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and LGBTQ athletics. Now, his nonprofit, Out on the Streets, aims to alleviate the stresses and hardships of LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. As a Youth Advisory Council Member, Conner helps Trevor raise awareness about our lifesaving services to underserved groups, such as queer and trans people of color, and other intersectional identities, including athletes and people of faith. “I want to see Trevor resources in every school across the United States,” he says.
Every year, Ambassadors bring their cities together to show support of LGBTQ youth through various events. San Diego’s Pep Rally at pride connected over 40 volunteers to share their Trevor experiences. In San Francisco, with the help of Trevor sponsor Safeway, 200 supporters gathered for an evening Holiday Skate. With the help of sponsor Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, San Francisco Ambassadors hosted over 200 supporters at their fundraiser, Cirque, featuring contortionists, a carnival-themed menu, and Trevor supporter and comedian, Margaret Cho. And, raising more money than ever before, Washington, D.C. Ambassadors held their immensely successful Night Out for Trevor at Hotel Palomar with special guest, singer, and actor, Alex Newell. The Ambassadors will continue to innovate ways to connect with our supporters.
San Diego Ambassador Co-Chair and Program Volunteer: Joshua
“Investing in our volunteers is a direct investment in our youth.”
Since he was young, Joshua has been heavily involved in his community, advocating for change throughout San Diego. After a serious incident involving a college friend confirmed the harm of unsupportive environments to the LGBTQ community, he started serving as a Trevor program volunteer. Now, as a San Diego Ambassador, he raises awareness about Trevor by working with community partners and resource fairs to plan events, such as Trevor’s Pride Pep Rally, in which over 40 volunteers connected and learned about ways to get more involved. “I will never forget when one young person approached me at a Trevor event and said: ‘Last year, I thought about killing myself. I am glad Trevor was there for me.’ We plan to stay active in the community until the day that the possibilities, opportunities, and dreams are the same for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” he says.
Cirque Performer and Trevor Supporter: Margaret Cho
“I, Margaret Cho, pledge to help a friend call the Trevor Lifeline if they are in crisis at 866-488-7386.”
Night Out for Trevor Performer and Trevor Supporter: Alex Newell
“Trevor means everything to me because it means acceptance.”
Seeing our community come together to support Trevor each year in Los Angeles and New York is always inspiring. To show gratitude for our volunteers and donors, NextGen Los Angeles hosted XO, an evening of thanks on Valentine’s Day at restaurant Bugatta, with special guest Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls). NextGen New York hosted donors at Marquee NYC for Fall Fete, featuring comedian Marti Gould Cummings, DJ Anomaly Code, vocalist Kelly Bales and pianist Erik James, singer Scott Alan, and singer/songwriter Aris. At The Park, 650 guests came to Spring Fling, featuring The Big Apple Corps, Erich Bergen (The Jersey Boys), award-winning singer Natalie Douglas, Isabelle (American Idol), DJ Vito Fun, ToUch Performance Art, and performer Aiden Leslie, sponsored in part by Absolut and more. Block Party, Trevor’s first sliding scale fundraising event, was hosted at The Green Building with performances by drag collective Switch N’Play, DJ Nikki Lyons, and DJ Monet Bernard.
New York NextGen Co-Chair: Caitlin
“TrevorSpace.org provides safety to LGBTQ youth, fostering a community of young people who may not have any other supportive community, either real or virtual.”
As a straight, cisgender ally, Caitlin champions trans rights at political events to educate young local leaders about the community’s struggles. Her proudest accomplishment as a NextGen Co-Chair was co-producing the 2014 Summer Block Party in Brooklyn, in which attendees could donate on a sliding scale upon entry, allowing for a truly inclusive fundraising experience.
Caitlin dreams of a future in which Trevor can expand into smaller rural towns across the U.S. “We live in the most globally connected time in the history of the world, and while this can provide a daily escape and refuge for LGBTQ youth, it can also give bigots and bullies an even larger platform for hate. Providing a positive physical presence and safe space online are the most impactful ways that Trevor can nurture and protect LGBTQ youth,” she says.