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Pay It Forward – SMYAL

It can be challenging for queer and transgender youth to face discrimination, violence, lack of acceptance, and local organization, SMYAL, is working to combat that.

SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders), an organization established in 1984, empowers LGBTQ youth by keeping them focused and prepared. SMYAL offers counseling, housing programs and provides leadership opportunities for children ranging from ages 6 – 24. SMYAL also works with the community to give the general public information to increase LGBTQ competency.

Fox 5’s Mauren Umeh got the chance to speak with several remarkable people at Smyal, including Tessa. Tessa is a part of the housing program, and she shared that she feels it takes a load off just having a safe place to live. 

Joel Bassam joined in surprising SMYAL with a message, ” We wanted to honor SMYAL’s incredible dedication to the LGBTQ community by donating $2000 to your mission. You all do such amazing work changing the lives of young people.” Excited and thankful for their donation, SMYAL shared that it would go directly towards helping residents in DC 

If you know someone in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area that goes above and beyond the call and is worthy of being recognized,Click here to nominate them.