FIRST ® is a proud partner of Project THRIVE: a multi-year effort led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation to create more equitable, inclusive support systems and communities for LGBTQ+ youth. Project THRIVE will build the skills and capacities of all youth-serving professionals to better meet the needs of LGBTQ+ young people. The campaign is a collaborative effort of many national organizations, each committed to identifying opportunities within their own thought leadership space to increase awareness about and provide resources to address the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and to highlight best practices and success stories from their respective professional fields.
The core goals of Project THRIVE include:
- Actively promoting well-being for LGBTQ+ youth within all youth-serving professions (e.g. education, child welfare, juvenile justice, health care, homelessness)
- Providing all youth-serving professionals with the tools, resources and training they need to support and affirm LGBTQ+ youth, in particular LGBTQ+ youth of color and youth who have a history of system involvement
- Increasing the proportion of LGBTQ+ youth experiencing permanent, supportive connections with caring adults and family networks
- Reducing the significant disparities in mental and physical health outcomes among LGBTQ+ youth
- Improving school safety and inclusion so LGBTQ+ students can succeed and thrive academically and socially
Through our partnership with the campaign, the FIRST community has a multitude of resources available to them to understand this project more in depth, to support LGBTQ+ students, and to help foster more inclusive environments for all students, mentors and volunteers. All of these resources and more can be found on the FIRST Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Trainings & Resources webpage, including:
Challenges faced by LGBTQ+ youth are changing, but what they always need is support from each other and the adults in their lives. For HRC’s resources for educators, please visit WelcomingSchools.org.
If you or someone you know has experienced one-time or ongoing issues such as suspected abuse, bullying, harassment, discrimination, questionable behavior, or comments by peers and/or adults, or if you or someone you know is dealing with sensitive issues that cannot be resolved at a community level, please follow this link to report the issue to the FIRST Youth Protection Program.
If you or someone you know is in need of support relating to LGBTQ+ issues, please visit The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project can connect you with a trained counselor 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the United States, or you can join their network to get connected with other LGBTQ+ young people. It is 100% confidential, and 100% free.