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From Yankees to Y'all: Supporting LGBTQ Youth in K-12 Schools
Build the Future
Cameron DJ Ouellette-Cygan; Heather D. Ouellette-Cygan, MFA, GLSEN NH, and Justin Sweatman-Weaver, GLSEN TN
Workshop Block 2: Saturday, October 21 - 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
In what ways do the school experiences of LGBTQ+ students in the Northeastern and Southern parts of the United States differ? What are the best ways honor local climates and demographics when working to support both students and educators in K-12 schools? Join chapter leaders from GLSEN New Hampshire and GLSEN Tennessee as they present data from the 2015 School Climate Survey, share stories about the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth and the educators who support them, and demonstrate the work they do in their home state’s schools.
Cameron Ouellette is an aspiring filmmaker on the go. While supervising at a local toy store, he is also the Chair, and an Educator Trainor for GLSEN NH. Starting his GLSEN work off with the 2009 Safe Schools Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C., he lobbied to NH congressmen and women on new laws to help keep LGBTQ youth safe in schools. Since then, Cameron helped (with his mother) form the old GLSEN South-West NH, into the state wide GLSEN NH Chapter, and planned such events as Prom OUTLOUD!, and other educational workshops.
Heather Ouellette-Cygan teaches English, Poetry, Film Study and Media Literacy at Concord High School in Concord New Hampshire where she is also the faculty advisor to the Tide Pride Gay & Straight Alliance. As a teacher, she is passionate about helping students recognize the role of media representation in developing their sense of self and of others. She is a founding member and current Outreach and Public Relations Coordinator of GLSEN NH, and has traveled the country for training on keeping schools safe for all students. She recently received an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. She writes poetry, essays, and fiction. Heather is currently working on a novel called Merely Players, which includes a cast of quirky characters involved with a fictional New Hampshire community theatre.
Justin Sweatman-Weaver is the board chair and policy coordinator of GLSEN Tennessee and has served the state's LGBTQ community in this and other capacities since 2009. He is passionate about mental health, positive youth development, and ensuring that every student has safe, equitable, high-quality educational opportunities.