The Alliance for Positive Youth Development (APYD) is getting ready to launch it’s 6th annual Best Practices for Youth Conference (APYDCON) on August 6-8th. This 3-day free virtual conference consists of expert panels with Q&A sessions and afternoon lectures. This year’s themes are Trauma-Sensitive Education, Youth Homelessness, and LGBTQ Bullying in School Settings.
Our SISGI intern, Gabriel Reyes choose the LGBT+ Bullying in School Settings theme. Gabe is a Master of Social Work student from the University of Southern California. For the past six months, Gabe has assisted in the conference planning. We recently interviewed him about APYDCON 2018, and this is what he told us:
Why did you choose this topic?
I chose to address LGBTQ+ bullying because I have personally been bullying because of my expression and sexual orientation. This was really hard for me in school, and it led me to have very depressive thoughts and feel like I could not be my true self.
Why does learning about LGBT+ Bullying matter?
This topic matters because the rates of bullying towards LGBTQ+ are extremely high. This often leads to mental health disorders and high rates of suicide among this population.
Can you tell us a little about your speakers?
At the conference, you will meet a set of experienced professionals who have worked in the field with LGBTQ+ youth. In the panel, we will hear from experts that work with LGBTQ+ youth, and in the afternoon presentation, we will hear from Laura Kanter. Laura has been working in this field as an advocate for many years, and she currently works at the LGBT Center in Orange County.
What discussions can attendees expect from the panel and lecture?
We will talk about the prevalence of LGBTQ+ bullying in school settings and what students can do when faced with bullying. We will also address how schools are perpetuating environments to encourage bullying, and how school administration, parents, and communities can help stop school bullying.
Why should people register for APYDCON 2018?
My biggest takeaway for everyone is to learn about this matter and how it truly affects the lives of many who are still faced with bullying. Like me, I endured many challenges because I was not prepared to deal with bullying nor did my school have policies to create safe environments for LGBTQ+ students. Learning how to address bullying when it happens, help many young people who are facing this problem.
On August 8th, 2018, APYDCON will be wrapping up its last day of workshops center around the topic of LGBT+ Bullying in School Settings. If you want to learn how to create safe school environments to prevent bullying, register to be a part of this unique virtual experience for FREE at ideas4youth.org/apydcon.