The Stonewall Foundation offers various programs to help educate and give opportunities for LGBTQ youth to become advocates for the LGBTQ community. The programs include CSUS scholarships aimed at students working to increase LGBTQ equity and representation in civic affairs, broadened opportunities for youth by sponsoring the Sacramento City Unified School District’s “Be Brave, Be You” LGBTQ+ student leadership conference, lended support to the San Juan Unified School District conference where students instructed teachers, administration, and family members on LGBTQ 101 and Gender Identity, and partnered with the Sacramento LGBT Community Center to fund a high school internship through the city’s Thousand Strong initiative.
"As a Person of Color and a member of the LGBTQ community, representation is extremely important, so when EGUSD started reviewing textbooks that would accurately portray the roles and contributions of People of Color, LGBTQ people, and persons with disabilities I started to reflect on my own view of the world."
There is no more effective way of learning about LGBTQ public policy issues than through direct involvement. The Stonewall Foundation provides opportunities for work and volunteer experience to build new leadership capacity.
Isa's Internship Story
“Working for the ARC Pride Center has brought me so many opportunities to branch out into the LGBTQIA+ community via the work connections I have made. I believe having a program like the Pride Center at colleges and universities is essential to students especially during times like this. Working in the Pride Center has given me a chance to not only understand my identity, but to also give out resources to help those who are also struggling with the same things most of us are. Having the chance to be employed during this pandemic has been very helpful. Especially the virtual aspect of it all. The pandemic has made me a bit more anxious about being outside and because of the opportunity I have working here, I can also continue to be a full-time student and not worry about having to drive to a shift or being late.”
Ryder's Internship Story
"Working at the ARC Pride Center means a lot to me as it gives me the opportunity to engage with other peers and students that are part of my queer community, especially during such a hard time to connect with others. I feel the impact we make solely by providing a safe space for our LGBTQIA+ students and staff is astronomical - especially to anyone who is not being given the same love, acceptance, and support at home. As a student myself, I find that socialization in a virtual setting at school has been difficult - but the opportunity to work for the Pride Center during this time has also created an additional space for myself as well, which has in turn helped me continue to grow in other areas of my life such as school and drag... and I am very thankful for that."
Mariama's Internship Story
"Working for the ARC Pride Center is very important to me because I feel safe and welcome. Also, the Pride Center is very much supportive. The Pride Center is unique and they do not discriminate. They are willing to help anyone in need. Working through the pandemic has impacted me in many possible ways. Without being employed, I would not have possibly survived looking at expenses and other things needed to be taken care of."
Tatiana's Internship Story
"As a Person of Color and a member of the LGBTQ community representation is extremely important so when EGUSD started reviewing textbooks that would accurately portray the roles and contributions of People of Color, LGBTQ people and persons with disabilities I started to reflect on my own view of the world. I’ve always understood that I’m extremely lucky when it comes to the people I was surrounded by when I was younger, but the lesson didn’t click until now."
“Finding LGBTQ+ underclassmen and giving them advice/support. Asking my history teacher to implement the FAIR Education Act. Helping implement SCUSD’s Trans Policy. I know I have teachers I can talk to. At home, it’s something like, we just don’t talk about. I can’t really be out with my family but get support from friends. Try kindness with those homophobic people, don’t add fuel to fire. Stand up for injustice. Educate.”
Whatever background or means, true advocates share a passion and commitment to empower our community. The Stonewall Foundation supports youth advocacy training to promote LGBTQ leadership that will advance justice.
Sponsoring leadership conferences for LGBTQ+ youth, organized by the Sacramento City Unified School District, the San Juan Unified School District’s PRIDE PAK Education Conference, and the Stars Student Summit with the Elk Grove Unified School Districts.
Be Brave Be You.
The Be Brave, Be You conference highlighted an interactive history galleries, with performance artists and many occasions for personal expression. Students were afforded multi-media learning opportunities focusing on social movements. An advocacy panel, organized by the Foundation with the generous assistance of participants Ebony Eva Harper, Rodney Nickens, Deepen Gagneja and Carrie Martin Holmes in 2018 shared rich personal narratives to reinforce the continued significance of LGBTQ advocacy and leadership by our community. In 2019 nearly 50 students and teachers attended from SCUSD middle and high schools, as well as San Juan and Elk Grove Unified School Districts.
The theme “Your Silence Will Not Protect You,” asked students to learn about, and reflect on what resistance means to them.
The Stonewall Foundation expanded its reach to also proudly support the San Juan Unified School District’s PRIDE PAK education conference held in March 2019. LGBTQ students from across the district led the way to understanding.
Hosted by the San Juan Unified School District in 2019, PRIDE PAK members from SJUSD high schools conducted a day of training to promote understanding, inclusion and awareness of the rights of LGBTQ students. Student educators shared personal journeys, as well as instruction in definitions, terminology and sensitivity.
Two workshops, LGBTQ 101 and Gender Identity were attended by approximately 60 teachers, administrators, and family members from the district, with a panel presentation and a G&A finishing the day of learning.
PRIDE PAK was created to give student members an opportunity to promote equity and safer learning environments for all student populations on their campuses. It is currently comprised of students from the Gay Straight/Gender Sexuality Alliance Club at SJUSD’s high schools. Through workshops, outreach and various site-based campaigns, these students are dedicated to ensuring their campuses are inclusive of all unique populations of students.
STARS Student Summit
Elk Grove Unified School District conducted a youth leadership workshop for LGBTQ+ students and allies in November 2019 with support from the Stonewall Foundation of Greater Sacramento. Foundation Board member Nate Pelczar moderated two sessions with panelists Ebony Harper and Elena Carrillo, both LGBTQ+ leaders, on the topics of advocacy and leadership with approximately 150 attending from schools across the district.
"Receiving a direct relief grant was a life-changing experience for me. As a first-generation college student, I was struggling to make ends meet and was considering dropping out of school. But the grant gave me the financial breathing room I needed to focus on my studies and pursue my dreams. Without it, I don't know where I would be today. It's amazing how such a small amount of money can have such a huge impact on someone's life."
Direct Relief Grant
The cost of higher education has been steadily rising over the years, making it increasingly difficult for students to afford tuition, books, and other necessities. As a result, many students face financial hardship and struggle to make ends meet while pursuing their academic goals. In response, various organizations and institutions have developed programs to provide financial assistance to these students, including direct relief grants. These grants can provide crucial support to students, helping them cover essential expenses and reducing the financial burden of higher education. In this context, the importance of direct relief grants for students cannot be overstated, as they can make the difference between being able to continue their education or not