When I arrived in Pittsburgh in 1999 to join the faculty librarians at the University of Pittsburgh, one of my chief concerns was to be able to find a counselor who would be sensitive to issues of concern to gay men. The Pittsburgh Pink Pages at the time steered me in the direction of Persad. After my initial contact with the staff at Persad, I knew firsthand what a quality organization it was. My intake interview was scheduled quickly, and although the process did not produce a counselor from Persad for my needs, the staff were instrumental in connecting me with another counselor in Pittsburgh with whom I still have sessions. Persad put me on the path of continued mental and emotional stability. Four years ago, I was invited to become one of the members of Persad's Board of Directors. I leapt at the chance, and have found the organization solid, collegial, and productive. The miracles that executive director Betty Hill produces are extraordinary. She has worked tirelessly over the years to keep Persad running, visible, and vital to the southwestern Pennsylvania region.
After I moved to Pittsburgh, I heard about Persad via neighbors who were long time donors. When I heard about their mission to provide counseling and prevention services to the LGBT community in western Pennsylvania, I decided to volunteer. Soon, I was recruited as a board member and have served in this role as well as volunteer and donor for over 3 years. I have seen and heard from many people what a positive impact Persad has had on their lives and I look forward to continuing to support the center's efforts to provide and expand their services to those who need them.