Local Youth Give Back

QYLA.JPGTwo of the winners of the 2011 Queer Youth Leadership Awards recently gave their $500 award checks to the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center/Youth Services' STRANGE program.

Joaquin Garcia, a senior at Pacific College School, and Cookie Hernandez, a student at O.A.S.I.S. School, both recognized STRANGE's youth development and advocacy work with LGBTIQ youth throughout Santa Cruz County.

Carolyn Coleman, SCCCC executive director, congratulated both of these young leaders for "their positive impact in the community" and being an inspiration to others by giving back to support programs for queer youth.

STRANGE provides activities designed to build self-esteem, provide clean and sober social activities, and help develop leadership skills involving educational events, support to high school gay-straight alliances, peer counseling training and advocacy.

Plans are under way for the 2012 QYLA Awards to be held May 12 at Shoreline Middle School in Santa Cruz.