South Florida youth who experience gender and orientation-related rejection and bullying, attempt suicide at 5x the rate of their non-harassed peers.
Read about E.L., youth volunteer speaker, and the impact YES Institute’s education provided their family:
Before learning about YES Institute, I found myself at a dark point in my life – hiding my authentic self from the world. When I came out as transgender to my family and friends, I felt more isolated and alone than ever, it was hard for me to face a world that was so unwelcoming. I had no one to turn to and nowhere to go, I turned to drug use and self harm just to feel something again – a path that led me to being Baker-acted.
Upon being Baker-acted, I met some of the YES Institute team. They really supported me in seeing a bigger and better chance at life. Taking the YES Institute courses and being a volunteer with them, offered my family and me a different approach to having conversations, provided my family with tools on how to cope with my journey and we have bonded more than I could have ever imagined. All members of my family as well as my girlfriend’s family are active members of the community sharing our journey and where we are today.
Today, I live proud to be who I am and happy to be surrounded by such supportive people. I am a senior in high school, sending in college applications, and preparing myself for 10 intense years in the medical field so that I can play an active role in serving the transgender community. Without the help of YES Institute, I surely would not have made it this far in my life. I am grateful to have a loving family, friends, and community at my side as I grow and continue my life.