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These 7 Young People Took Change into Their Own Hands in 2016

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“It’s really important that young folks are part of the solution, because we’re the ones that it’s directly affecting today.”

We’re strong believers in the idea that our work is stronger when young people are involved in the process. That’s why we created the True Fellowship, which gives young people the opportunity to undertake a six-month project that contributes to our shared mission to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Each True Fellow is an LGBTQ-identified young person and has had experiences with homelessness and/or housing instability. In other words, they’re experts.

We’re so proud of our 2016 True Fellows. Here’s a quick rundown of the work they did over the past six months:

Kalwin Perrin; Nashville, TN: Working with the Oasis Center, Nashville’s only youth-serving provider, Kalwin helped develop a toolkit to bring on-the-ground organizing to the digital sphere. This will prove immensely helpful for folks seeking to implement initiatives to end youth homelessness in their own communities.

Christian Carmen Olivia Jane; Cincinnati, OH: Christian collaborated on the relaunch of our public engagement campaign, Give A Damn, by writing and commissioning blog posts and learning how to advocate through media and storytelling.

Lanay Lindsey; Tucson, AZ; and Roxane Jack; Bemidji, MN: For the first time, two Fellows collaborated on a project together! Lanay and Roxane helped storyboard and provide feedback for True U, our online training platform that seeks to establish a common understanding about the causes and effects of LGBT youth homelessness.

Jawanza James Williams; New York, NY: Jawanza expanded his community organizing experience by exploring the development side of nonprofit advocacy work, and learning the role peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate and foundation giving, and direct mail and email marketing play in generating support for our programs.

Aiyanna Horton; Richmond, VA: Aiyanna helped produce this year’s State of Out Youth, a live panel discussion during our 40 to None Summit that explores the most pressing issues facing LGBTQ youth in America today. Aiyanna helped coordinate speaker selection and preparation, as well as spoke as a panelist during the event.

Indie Landrum; San Diego, CA: Our first public policy Fellow, Indie researched and analyzed state-level regulations centered around enhancing shelter access for transgender youth experiencing homelessness, while expanding and developing relationships with state and local advocacy groups.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter as we celebrate the incredible work our 2016 True Fellows have accomplished!

Follow Nick Seip, CAPM:

Senior Communications Officer

When he’s not working at the True Colors Fund, you can find Nick somewhere in Brooklyn, listening to, making, or talking about music.