Our Story

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote and foster the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in education institutions.

Together we strive to...

  • Educate LGBTQ youth through positive examples

  • Support an environment where LGBTQ youth feel represented and safe

  • Advocate for LGBTQ youth to their peers

  • Ensure the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in their communities

Education, Support, Advocacy.

Our History

The idea for the Youth Pride Association (YPA) started from a speech written in February 2020 on the disparities LGBTQ Youth faced growing up in America. That speech brought up the question, how do we begin to fix this? Work began on designing our first program, the acceptance week program, aimed at providing a supportive learning environment for all students to address the underlying causes of these disparities.

February 2020: Work began on the Acceptance Week program, and what became the Youth Pride Association.

November 4th, 2020: YPA was founded in California as a public benefit nonprofit corporation with the mission to address the alarming and substantial disparities that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Youth face when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. YPA received 501(c)3 designation from the IRS shortly thereafter.

August 2021: YPA was recognized by California State University Channel Islands and awarded the 2021 President's Award for Student Innovation, for the Acceptance Week program.

September 2021: YPA launched the Peer Advocate program, now the Virtual Peer Support program, an individual-focused peer mentorship program for LGBTQ students aimed at providing individual-focused peer mentorship to students from across the country.

November 2021: YPA launches the Model School Policy Initiative, a program aimed at providing educational institutions with various materials to ensure that policymaking does not discriminate against LGBTQ students.

December 2021: YPA launches the Virtual Peer Support program, a completely virtual variation of the Peer Advocate program for LGBTQ students

February 2022: YPA hosted the inaugural Acceptance Week program at Royal High School

March 2022: YPA launches the Virtual Support Group Program, available to LGBTQ students in 30 states

April 2022: As a result of work done through the Model School Policy Initiative, CSU Channel Islands announces the conversion of 15 multi-use restrooms to all-gender restrooms as well as other initiatives to address LGBTQ equity concerns on campus.

Today, The Youth Pride Association operates several unique programs for LGBTQ students across the country. These programs all work to address the disparities LGBTQ students face in schools through support, education, and advocacy.

Awards and Recognition

August 2021

Cameron Bartosiewicz, on behalf of the Youth Pride Association, was awarded the CSU Channel Islands President's Award for Student Innovation for the Acceptance Week program. This award recognizes a student who has developed and/or implemented an innovative program, learning activity, or service that is unique and provides a significant contribution to student success and increased engagement at CSUCI or the broader community.

The Youth Pride Association supports the Sustainable Development Goals