Program Discontinued

Peer Advocate Program

An ongoing Hybrid Peer Mentorship program aimed at providing LGBTQ students with peer-to-peer education, support, and advocacy

The Issue

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) students are a historically underserved population in Educational Institutions. LGBTQ students are disproportionately affected by depression, anxiety, isolation, harassment, assault, self-harm, hate crimes, homelessness, substance abuse, increased disengagement, and lower performance in schools. They face these similar adversities during this critical time, and face these hardships at a significantly higher rate than their peers.

It is critical for higher education institutions to promote an environment that is conducive for all students to succeed. Currently, there exists a severe lack of resources that provide support for the unique needs and adversities LGBTQ students in higher education face. Through this program’s ability to provide peer support to LGBTQ students, this program can pave the way for an environment all students can succeed in, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Click here for more information on the issues LGBTQ youth face.

Program Goals

The Youth Pride Association currently operates the Higher Education Peer Advocate program aimed at:

  • Reduce the educational attainment gap between LGBTQ students and heterosexual students

  • Reduce the effects of isolation many LGBTQ students face in higher education

  • Reduce minority stressors LGBTQ students face

  • Reduce Factors that have been correlated to a higher risk for self-harm in LGBTQ students.

  • Increasing LGBTQ students sense of community engagement, involvement, and belonging

  • Increasing representation and support for LGBTQ students.

  • Foster a culture of acceptance and positivity for our individual diversity.

Program Activities

This program aims to provide additional support to LGBTQ students in higher education. This program works with existing campus mental health resoruces to provide this program to LGBTQ students who need additional peer support.

YPA provides students seeking additional support with a Peer Advocate, an LGBTQ individual who is experienced with the unique hardships and adversities LGBTQ students are faced with. Peer Advocates go through rigorous training and certification, in order to best support these students, and work using a variety of methods to provide students with support, advocacy, and education that meets their individualistic needs. Through this program’s ability to foster an accepting and supportive school climate by virtue of peer support, the long-term effects of this disproportionate victimization of LGBTQ students can be mitigated

Program History

September 2021

YPA launched this program at CSU Channel Islands in collaboration with CI's Counseling and Psychological Services

December 2021

YPA launches a completely virtual variation of the Peer Advocate program for all higher education LGBTQ students

During the 2021-2022 academic year, YPA provided programs services to:

7,446 higher education students

For questions regarding the Peer Advocate program:

Contact Us Here

For school administrators, faculty, and students:

Contact Form