Ever wonder what we are doing in central Illinois? Nothing but exciting things! We are connecting with youth, whether it's a GSA or individual youth groups. As the Alliance's Program Coordinator for central Illinois, I am able to attend events where I interact with youth from all across the state. Just earlier this February I was in Champaign where Talk It UP and Macon County Youth Pride united forces at the UP Center to brainstorm ways to fight against bullying and at the same time build ideas for the Alliance’s upcoming summit in Springfield IL.

These groups continue to grow in numbers and are doing amazing things in their respective areas from creating GSAs, educating their administration on LGBTQ+ matters, and creating events. I was also able to attend a Trans 101 with my fierce colleague Nat. The Phoenix Center in Springfield IL put together a 4 part series on “Being an Ally” and this Trans 101 was the first part. It’s great to be able to support other entities on their work throughout the state. And last, but definitely not least I was cordially invited by the youth of Richwoods High School GSA in Peoria’s District 150 to help build on their ideas for Day of Silence. This GSA is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen and I was very honored to be part of the planning. Can’t wait to see what the upcoming weeks will bring as we near the Alliance’s Spring Youth Leadership Summit, Saturday, March 19th and Day of Silence, Friday, April 15th stay tuned!