Sexual and Gender Minority Youth
It is estimated that 1 in 10 individuals identify as a sexual minority. Often an already challenging stage in identity development, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & questioning (LGBTQ) youth face a set of issues unique to their daily lives. We examine the paths sexual and gender minority youth navigate in society, exploring such questions as: What challenges do LGBTQ youth encounter? How do they cope, survive, find understanding & celebrate themselves amidst homophobia and intolerance? How do LGBTQ experiences vary across difference such as race, ethnicity, class, religion, gender and expression? Has the growing strength of political mobilization and visibility of LGBTQ issues affected and/or included the needs of youth? How can youth needs be brokered by social services, families, and the community at large? Our community partner will be the Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC).
Students participate individually or in groups in a number of approved service learning activities that are assigned points based on the task's level of time commitment, educational opportunity for the student, and contribution to the community partner. These tasks may include, but are not limited to: volunteering during drop-in at SMYRC for special events, planning a canned food drive, fundraising, event planning, grant writing, and a number of other activities based on SMYRC need and student interest/skill.
The instructor will provide a worksheet to record student activities to help ensure clarity and the engagement of 30 points total of service learning by the end of the term. Outside of assigned coursework, students are expected to keep a service learning log of reflections on service learning activities completed. This log will be reviewed, with advanced warning, periodically by the instructor and submitted for final grading the last week of the term.
Students in the Capstone will have the opportunity to engage in supportive services at the SYMRC drop-in site, perform outreach and research in collecting information, interview SYMRC program participants about their experiences and compile this information into the final product, a resource guide highlighting available resources and the experiences of the youth intended for the youth, social services, schools, and the larger community.