I cannot express how grateful I am for GSA network. As a 16 year old they helped me start a GSA at my high school. Today I am honored to serve as a board member. I continue to do the work by being an advisor at the high school where I teach and by serving the community through my masters research.
My experience with GSA Network has been incredible, and life changing to say the least, from the moment I started working with them. I knew little about myself, and found myself into a depression where the internet was my only escape away from the oppression I had at home and in my hometown. It was through there that I heard about Day of Silence, Harvey Milk Day, and this grand organization called Gay-Straight Alliance Network. In the spring time, I applied to an event called GAYLA, and surprisingly was accepted. I knew nobody from the moment I came in, and four days later left knowing more about myself than I ever had, as well as with life long friendships. Few months later, I was asked to be a regional trainer, as well as sent a board of directors application, and my expectations for myself went flying for the roof. GSA Network does everything possible to make sure transportation is available for you, as well as moving any accommodations needed for you to understand what is going on at the time. Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a really great and empowering non-profit, especially the diversity it has and I cannot wait to see how even greater it turns out to be in the future!!
I am constantly impressed with the youth I meet through GSA Network. GSA Network trains them to be leaders, activist and change agents. It gives me hope for the next generation. Whether they are starting clubs at their school or lobbying at Sacramento, I think how lucky they are to have these experiences so early in their lives. I have great hope that they will continue to speak up and out. I also know that many other states have looked to GSA Network to help give them guidance to start statewide coalitions.
My 21 year old daughter grew up at GSA Network. As a teen (after coming out to us) she got involved with the many wonderful programs offered by GSA Network. She was a summer intern and member of their youth councils, She helped as a trainer, attending the national gathering of GSA-related organizations, and ended her amazing tenure as a youth board member. Through the leadership opportunities and from the mentorship of the incredibly talented staff, our daughter flourished. She is now a happy, confident senior in college--in large part because of GSA Network's warm and steady support. Our family is forever grateful. I now serve on the board as a proud mom of a GSA Network alum :o)