On Saturday March 15th, GSA Network hosted its annual Expression Not Suppression Conference at Edison High School in Fresno. Although our conference is geared toward youth currently in GSAs, we also wanted a strong presence from our alumni and included at the conference an alumni-led workshop and a mixer for all GSA alumni in the area. We invited alumni to share a little about their experience at ENS, and here is what they said:
Brandon Dinh - The ENS conference was one of the most empowering LGBT events I have ever attended. It gave me a lot of insight on the issues involved in the LGBT community. It was also a wonderful feeling to know I'm not alone in the struggle of being an LGBT individual.
Jonathan Grammatico - The alumni workshop I led was really an eye-opening and enlightening experience, especially from someone who's been on the other end, looking for help and answers on how to volunteer and empower LGBT youth. Leading discussion, dialogue, and healthy conversation with advisors and alumni alike has given me direction and has furthered my interest in continuing to work with GSA Network. More than anything, I was rewarded with inspiration, which is the most I could have asked for out of ENS.
Jacob Groody - The thing that shocked me most about the entire event was meeting all these young leaders, making such a huge impact within the LGBT community. It gives me such high hopes for the future. The alumni mixer afterwards was the perfect mix of good food, great company, and a lot of important information and connections. It really just felt like dinner with friends, yet I got to learn a lot about how to get further involved with GSA Network, which I definitely plan to do.
Paul Schoenmann - The Expression Not Suppression Conference in Fresno 2014 was beyond empowering! I found that the entire atmosphere was buzzing with energy and everyone couldn't contain their excitement and enthusiasm. The workshops were hugely important, teaching youth such things as healthy relationships and safe sex, something in dire demand. The GSA Alumni Mixer after event was also fantastic. Not only was the food yummy but I left the table with several pages of notes regarding non-profit orgs and many an internship. I'm very much thankful and pleased to have been a part of it!
We’re so excited for our alumni to be a part of our programming, and will plan more opportunities for our alumni to engage with our work at the next alumni advisory board meeting in April. If you're interested in attending, email firstname.lastname@example.org.