According to Resource Center volunteer Heather Alexander,
“If it weren’t for Youth First, my best friend might not be here today. Resource Center’s Youth First program serving middle and high school aged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 12 to 18, is the only program of its kind in North Texas. It equips youth with the skills and resources they need to lead an authentic life.
“At times, Youth First was all my friend had, and his life was not easy. I am so glad he took advantage of this amazing resource, because my life would not be nearly as happy without him in it. Every time I walk in the doors of the Center, it is in his honor. I cannot thank them enough for the gift of my best friend and I hope by volunteering, I can be the light for another LGBTQ teen in need.
“Youth First’s Friday Family Dinners are the best part of my week, I have made lifelong friends and found my chosen family. Programming also includes free year-round activities such as STAY (a suicide prevention support group), Art Club and Gender Identity Night. These programs are meant to decrease high-risk behaviors, reduce social isolation and increase self-esteem.
“As a straight ally, I will fight for these kids as hard as I can. These are some of the smartest, most thoughtful, funniest, talented young adults I have ever met. They are artists, musicians, actors, dancers, listeners and huggers – everyone at Youth first has a purpose.
“My wish for Youth First for the holidays and every day, is for them to know that there are people who care about them. All these kids want is consistency, someone they can depend on and will love and listen to them.”
* Graphic and photo provided by Resource Center