Thirty-six students, teachers and community leaders from 25 states will participate in GLSEN's 2009 Safe Schools Advocacy Summit on March 21-24.
The summit concludes with a lobby day on Capitol Hill on March 24. More than 500 people applied for the opportunity to lobby their legislators about the importance of safe schools for all students. Here are a few of the participants in their own words:
"I would like to attend SSAS because I want to work with GLSEN again, and I would love to connect with youth people about the need to improve our nation's schools. I feel like I still have a lot of room for growth, and I would love this experience to grow and network as a youth leader."
"I am the president of my school's Gay Straight Alliance. I am a member of the Asian- American and Pacific Islander Tobacco Advisory board. I am a student leader in my school's Political Action Committee, which is the first school in the country to implement the National Student Council's Raising Student Voices and Participation Program, and I have been a part of it since its introduction my freshman year. I am in the Youth Strengthening Youth Program with the Asian Pacific Development Center of Colorado. I am also on the Youth Council through the Asian Pacific Development Center. I am captain of my school's Speech and Debate team. I am involved in Amnesty International, Ecology Club, Key Club, FCCLA, DECA, Student Council, and am a strong leader for underclassmen in my school. I am also an intern with a Marketing and Promotions Firm."
Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I am originally from El Paso, Texas, where I attended high school my 10th and beginning of my 11th grade year. This is where my leadership skills developed, as I was heavily involved in Student Council. I held the elected positions of Parliamentarian and the Head Committee Chairman for Energy and Environment. Currently I am working on creating a mentorship program within GSA between our high school and our feeder middle schools. Our GLBT middle school students are neglected with information and guidance, which this mentorship would help provide this. However, I hope to strengthen this program by learning more on safe schools and networking with others from across the nation."
Albany, New York
"I want to be better prepared to help with the Dignity for All Students Act this year in New York, and help make a difference locally in my community. This is my 3rd year on the GLSEN Jump-Start National Student Leadership Team. I've been working with my GLSEN chapter (NY Capital Region) for nearly three years as well. I've helped organize Breaking the Silence with them. I've worked with GSA in middle and high school. Finally, I attended this summit when it was called SOLS. I lobbied with NYS Pride Agenda on one of their lobby days. Also I lobbied with SOLS on capital hill. I bring the experience and stories of LGBTQ life in a big school, and all the leadership skills I have picked up at GLSEN events and through the years of running GSA."
If you agree this is an important opportunity for our delegation to convey GLSEN's message to key policy-makers, you can Help Assure Success by
Supporting a Student Leader!