Connecting • Embracing • Transforming
Herbert H. Lehman High School’s GSA after-school program, called Spectrum, has become a safe space and a welcoming program to the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies because of the guidance and support that Live Out Loud has continued to provide throughout the last 7 years. Spectrum already aims to create a safe and accepting school environment for all our students, no matter sexual orientation or gender identity. Having the services from LOL on a monthly basis provides us with extra support, educating our students about LGBTQIA+ issues.
LOL takes pride in engaging our students in awareness activities through their interactive real goal setting lesson plans. Priceless moments are when LOL provides us with guidance by connecting our students to LGBTQIA+ role models and leaders in the LGBTQIA+ community who are dedicated to their life’s work and share their personal stories.
Marilena Rocco, LOL’s Educational Program Manager visits us on a monthly basis and at times joins us for some of our special events, such as our Coming Out event and our Queersgiving. She is more than a representative of LOL, she has become family. Our Spectrum students get excited when they hear that she is coming to visit us. Marilena empowers our students and allies to develop strategies to support all who identify as LGBTQIA+. Through monthly lesson plans and personal stories, LOL and Marilena educate our students to turn key to our school community policies that protect the LGBTQIA+ students from bullying and harassment.
I can speak on behalf of our students and staff by saying that LOL and Marilena’s focus is on developing our youth into leaders and strong activist whose main goal is to build alliances across gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity. I can’t imagine running Spectrum without having the support of LOL throughout all these years.
Herbert Lehman High School