Questioning your sexuality and/or gender identity? Wondering if you should "come out" and to whom? Concerned about your family or friends finding out? Getting harassed at school, work, home, etc.? Want to meet other LGBTQ+ youth?
Our youth program focuses on youth (aged 12-17 years) who do not always experience safety in predominantly heterosexual and cisgender environments - and whose unique needs are sometimes overlooked at other agencies.
The self-empowerment of LGBTQ+ youth stands as our ultimate goal. All youth have the right to a safe, secure, and nurturing environment in which they can maximize their full potential physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, educationally, and culturally.
LGBTQ+ youth are challenged to meet the developmental tasks of adolescence - in a homophobic & transphobic society.
Any LGBTQ+ Youth aged 12-17 can drop in! Straight and cisgender allies are welcome.
These weekly therapeutic social support groups are the bread-and-butter of our PROUD Youth Program. Our South County PROUD Youth Group meets every Friday from 4:00 - 5:30 PM in our headquarter offices. Our North County PROUD Youth Group will begin to meet monthly once we open our brand new Santa Maria satellite office! Stay tuned for details.
Pacific Pride Foundation's Youth Advocate Leadership Program (YALP) is a 10-week summer program in which Youth Advocate Leaders implement and co-lead Pacific Pride Foundation’s life skills-building summer program (90) Days of Summer - while actively mentored by our LGBTQ+ Program Manager and Community Outreach Associate. Youth Advocate Leaders apply and are chosen based on their extraordinary advocacy work during the school year - usually via serving as leaders in their school's LGBTQ+ Club.
Each Youth Advocate Leader is tasked with: contributing to (90) Days of Summer Group Norms, bringing 3-5 new youth to each meeting of (90) Days of Summer, designing a pre-/post-Summer survey for youth participants, leading each session of the (90) Days of Summer Program, collaborating with their correlating Youth Advocate Leaders from North or South County, preparing a presentation for Youth Connect Conference, and committing to leadership of their school's LGBTQ+ Club for the following school year.
Youth Advocate Leaders in turn receive a stipend and certificate upon completing YALP, with a guarantee of future letters of recommendation and resume reference from our LGBTQ+ Program Manager.
YALP runs from mid-June to mid-September, ending with our Youth Advocate Leaders planning and executing a Youth Connect Conference. This conference provides a bridge between (90) Days of Summer and the school year - gathering youth across Santa Barbara County together to educate about current identity terminologies in our LGBTQ+ "queer alphabet soup," about how to start an LGBTQ+ Club, and about planning social justice events for the school year ahead.
Pacific Pride Foundation's Youth Advocate Leadership Project is graciously funded with a grant from the Fund for Santa Barbara. See below for positive commentary from our 2015 Youth Advocate Leaders!
“I looked for mirrors into myself wherever I went, but I couldn’t seem to find ones that wouldn’t shatter. However, one day I got lucky and went to a Pacific Pride Foundation Youth Group meeting. I was encircled by people who understood my confusion, and in that community our horizons opened together. I began working with the Pacific Pride Foundation to make a difference in the community… [Through the Youth Advocate Leadership Program] we helped build mirrors for our peers so they wouldn’t have to live without seeing another smiling face like themselves.”
– Zack, 2015 PPF Youth Advocate Leader
“Pacific Pride Foundation’s (90) Days of Summer program brought myself and my peers a place of safety and comfort. It’s a place to bring our questions, our lives, and our stories to the table. Every teenager deserves to have this opportunity we were given every summer… It’s a place to learn about LGBTQ+ histories. It’s a place to make LGBTQ+ history.”
-Jessie, 2015 PPF Youth Advocate Leader
“Through Pacific Pride Foundation’s (90) Days of Summer, I’ve been able to create meaningful personal connections both with my fellow Youth Advocate Leaders and with the PROUD youth group participants. I think it’s very important to build a strong and trusting LGBTQ+ community, especially for young people.
Pacific Pride Foundation has helped kickstart a strong and trusting LGBTQ+ community for the youth in Santa Barbara.”
-Max, 2015 PPF Youth Advocate Leader
Pacific Pride Foundation's (90) Days of Summer Program is a 10-week life skills-building program for LGBTQ+ Youth aged 12 - 17 years.
Each weekly program is offered separately in both North County (NoCo) and South County (SoCo) for those respective groups—with select programs bringing both groups together for field trips and larger gatherings (noted in below schedule).
Each week of the (90) Days of Summer program focuses on a different topic of LGBTQ+ advocacy and leadership development.
The 5th Annual Youth Connect Conference brings together the 2017-18 class of Youth Advocate Leaders - who implemented PPF's (90) Days of Summer Program - to provide workshops in best practices for running LGBTQ+ school clubs, in advocating for teacher trainings, in creating cultures of consent, and more. In 2018, the YCC precedes our PROUD Prom, guaranteeing a day of learning and fun for PROUD LGBTQ+ youth from all over the central and southern coasts, as well as inland California.
For five years the PROUD Prom has welcomed LGBTQ+ & Allied Youth (12 - 17 yrs) from Santa Barbara County to join together in song, dance, and walking the runway toward increased self-esteem and social connection! Typically held in Santa Barbara and held after the Youth Connect Conference, our staff provides van rides to the event for youth from Santa Maria & Lompoc - and in 2018 we expect even more youth attending from all over California.