OUTreach provides peer support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer and questioning youth. The program conducts leadership development and training to young people who are starting, strengthening, and sustaining Gay-Straight Alliances or LGBTQ Programs, as well as assists youth in creating safe environments in schools for students to support each other and learn about homophobia and other oppressions. Workshops, support groups, and trainings are available on both the high school and collegiate level. Our target audience includes high school students, college students. teachers, professors, GSA advisors, and the community.
We address relevant issues and topics to young LGBTQ teens growing up in New York City and surrounding areas. Some of those issues and topics include: Coming out, LGBT safe sex, knowing your rights, statistics of the community and how not to become one, how to be an effective leader, how to handle the emotions and potential problems of coming out as a young LGBT individual, how to effectively communicate what being LGBT means/how to educate those who may be inexperienced with LGBT individuals, history of the movement, how to utilize being LGBT to assist in your future (i.e. grants, scholarships, housing, jobs, etc.), addressing stereotypes and providing a community of inclusion for all kinds of LGBTQ identified young adults.
With more than 10 years of experience, we are comfortable and knowledgeable enough with the topics/issues surrounding LGBTQ youth and how that translates for youth in the program. Our facilitators are able to touch on the subjects that many LGBT-school-based programs leave out and in a detailed, innovative, inspirational and informed manner. We are a team of educators that have dealt with such a wide variety of issues, outreached to various schools, attended numerous conferences and have proven time and time again to be the kind of facilitators that young people trust and feel comfortable enough around to be able to address the real issues they are facing.
The OUTreach Program Director is Michelle Mittler whose experience of coming out at 15, growing up watching the adversity her friends faced, and dealing with her own family and personal life, is a wealth of knowledge that impacts this program. Explaining her past and where she is today (working in the political arena in DC) shows the capabilities that one can achieve even when facing adversity. As a straight male educator and social worker, Hal Eisenberg has worked with hundreds of LGBTQ students, became their confidant and guide, supportively worked with parents who have LGBT children, and is comfortable enough to really be an ally through this often difficult process for all parties involved. Together, they have created the most solid and thorough LGBTQ program offered to date.