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New York Life Foundation Grants $100,000 to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York

Foundation Renews Support to Youth Enrichment Services Program for New York City Teens

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 21, 2012 — The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (the Center) today announced a two-year, $100,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to support Youth Enrichment Services (YES), the Center’s youth development program. YES offers after-school, Saturday, and summer programs to support the healthy development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people, ages 13-21. The grant will specifically support YES’s Peer Education and Leadership Internship Program, a year-long course that focuses on providing academic and job skills to support to at-risk youth.

“New York Life has a great track record of standing by the LGBT community, and the Center is extremely grateful for its continued support through this generous grant to our youth, who depend on these crucial programs to stay healthy and thrive,” said Executive Director Glennda Testone. “We’re proud to have had New York Life as our ally since 2008, and look forward to a continued long-term partnership.”

“We are pleased to partner with the Center, which shares our commitment to providing educational opportunities for youth in a positive environment,” said Marlyn Torres, assistant vice president of the New York Life Foundation. “We are proud to lend our support and help improve the lives of thousands of LGBTQ youth who attend the Center.”

YES participants apply for one of six internships offered throughout the year, which help youth develop important skills to become successful, healthy, and self-sustaining adults.

  1. Summer Camp Youth Leader – Youth are trained to be camp counselors.
  2. Safe Schools Internship – Youth are trained to establish and support gay-straight alliances in NYC high schools.
  3. Peer Education Program – Peer educators are trained to lead discussions on topics including sexual and gender identity and conflict resolution.
  4. Intergenerational Technology Leadership Institute – Youth learn teaching skills and work with the organization’s Older Adult Technology Services group, helping seniors learn computer skills.
  5. Youth Organizing – Youth develop leadership, group facilitation, and organizing skills, the interns pick a topic such as bullying and plan an event to explain how it affects LGBTQ youth.
  6. Entertainment Yes Internship Program - EYES – This internship trains at-risk youth to be peer leaders on the topics of safe sex and HIV prevention.

The 2008 grant from the Foundation allowed the Center to increase the number of young people served from 72 to 100 participants. This grant will enable the Center to increase the number of interns by 10 percent.

Six thousand people visit the Center each week, reflecting the ethnic, geographic and socioeconomic diversity of New York City. The YES program continues to see more young people, at younger ages than ever before, coming through the doors looking for a safe haven. Since 1989, YES has been providing leadership development and skill-building programs, substance abuse/HIV/AIDS prevention services, and comprehensive health promotion to LGBTQ youth, including individual counseling and peer support groups.

Information, education and referrals on the full range of issues affecting young LGBTQ persons are a critical core component of all YES services. YES also provides essential support to young people who are aging out of the foster care system and need a network of care in order to succeed as adults.

About The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City

A beacon of hope for 29 years, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center builds and supports our community through arts and culture, wellness and recovery, HIV/AIDS services, family services and life-saving youth programs designed to foster healthy development in a safe, affirming environment. The Center envisions a world where LGBT people will no longer face discrimination or isolation because of who we are or who we love. We offer a welcoming home to 300,000 visitors each year and we are committed to serving all LGBT people through a variety of programs, services and activities that are designed to meet existing and emerging needs. The Center is many things to many people. We invite you to experience our home at 208 West 13th Street in person and online at http://www.gaycenter.org.

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.newyorklife.com/foundation.