San Francisco, CA: Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is thrilled to announce its new Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project, made possible by the organization's first federal grant. The Department of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded GSA Network over $285,000 for this multi-level project, which will increase the capacity of schools and community-based organizations (CBOs) to reach lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.
"This grant for the Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project will allow GSA Network to bring its successful programming to more communities and young people, helping to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth across the country have every opportunity to succeed," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. "By providing resources and people ready to help, the GSA Network is building a better tomorrow, filled with the promise of hope, acceptance, and progress for all."
Using its successful model of training and technical assistance, GSA Network will provide capacity-building assistance to schools and CBOs in at least 20 jurisdictions around the country to create safe spaces for LGBT youth, improve their health and educational outcomes, and reduce their risk for educational and health disparities. Activities will include hands-on assistance based on local needs, professional development, ongoing follow-up coaching and technical assistance, provision of materials and resources, and support for policy and advocacy efforts.
"Research shows that LGBT youth remain at substantially greater risk for HIV/AIDS, other STDS, and unintended pregnancy, as well as for mental health problems linked to bullying and harassment," said GSA Network Executive Director Carolyn Laub. "Thanks to the CDC grant, we have a groundbreaking opportunity to lower that risk nationally through proven methods, including the creation of Gay-Straight Alliance clubs and other safe spaces."
The Safe & Healthy LGBT Youth Project is a five-year project, pending renewed funding each year. In total, the Project will directly impact up to 10,500 youth.
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Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a national youth leadership organization that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools by training student leaders and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout the country. In California alone, GSA Network has brought GSA clubs to 56% of public high schools, impacting more than 1.1 million students at 850 schools. GSA Network's youth advocates have played a key role in changing laws and policies that impact youth at the local and state level. GSA Network operates the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites more than 30 statewide networks of GSA clubs throughout the country. GSA Network is also the founder of the Make It Better Project, which aims to stop bullying and prevent suicide.