Youth Advisory Council

Youth Advisory Council

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) serves as a liaison between youth nationwide and The Trevor Project, as it relates to young people and the issues surrounding suicide, sexuality and gender identity. The YAC submits recommendations to The Trevor Project in an effort to increase Trevor visibility and best serve the LGBTQ youth population.

The YAC is a program of the Trevor Project comprised of 18 young people ages 16-24, (to convene monthly via conference call) that will advise the organization on outreach and programmatic efforts targeted at LGBTQ youth. Participants in the YAC will have the unique opportunity to have their voices and opinions heard and implemented into the strategies of a national organization.


Questions? Email Genevieve Sublette


Current Members

Aiden Aizumi is a Female to Male Transgender man who is currently attending Pasadena City College and is majoring in Psychology with a minor in LGBT Studies. He has a strong passion for music and movies of all types and a love for the gym, and outdoor sports. Aiden is an active member of PFLAG, and is currently a member of the Pasadena PFLAG Executive Board. He participates in Informative Panels with PFLAG to better inform local High Schools and Colleges about the LGBTQ Community. He is proud to be part of The Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council and can't wait to see what the future holds.

Devon Bearden is currently 17 years old and a senior at Little Rock Central High. She formerly served as the president and founder of her school's Gay Straight Alliance. She is at present trying to reconstruct the GSA after the teacher who served as the sponsor moved. She works constantly with the largest non-profit organization centralized around LGBTQ advocacy and social justice work in Arkansas, Center for Artistic Revolution, as well as its youth group, Diverse Youth for Social Change. Devon is a passionate artist and writer and loves to read. Activism is a huge part of her life and she's thrilled to be working with the Trevor Project's YAC.

Ayanna Bryant is an 18 year old high-school student with a passion for advocacy, serving as the president of both her school’s GSA and Young Democrats of America Club for the past two years. Along with her work in school she recently worked with the non-profit GLSEN for two years and is excited to be entering her second year working with Trevor's YAC team who she considers her second family. Currently she is enjoying her senior year with plans to attend art school for a degree in art education.

King Chan is a diligent activist from Long Beach, California. He is currently a senior at Will J. Reid High School and founded the first Queer-Straight Alliance club at his school, under the alias "Alliance for Equality," which aimed at being totally inclusive of all human rights. Beside that, he's the editor of his school's newspaper and is a strong presence in the Student Council club. He has always been compassionate about spreading the awareness and education of many civil topics, from feminism and censorship to LGBTQQIPA issues, in order to further the goal of shattering society's outlook on such subjects. His desire to make a difference led him to be involved with organizations such as the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach and the California Conference for Equality & Justice (CCEJ), who enlighten many minds about diversity and get people involved with their communities. In his spare time, King enjoys playing beach volleyball, reading classic literature, shooting billiards, and going on adventures with his close friends. King is thrilled to attend college in autumn, and hopes to get a master's degree in either education or social work, for he loves working with youth and impacting lives. Hopefully he is able to contribute as much as he can to the Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council and in return, see his peers and himself mature into even finer individuals, and make a difference on a national level. :)

Andrew (Andy) Coate is 22 and originally from Los Angeles, California.  He is currently a senior at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME where he is majoring in Human Ecology, like every other student at his school.  He currently runs Spectrum, the LGBTQ group on his campus and is a member of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition's Youth Committee; over the summer he interned at BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth.  He's really excited about working with other LGBTQ youth leaders, and can't wait to find out what everyone is doing in their communities!  Outside fighting for LGBTQ rights, Andy loves traveling, reading, and long walks on the beach.  He is currently employed as a website designer and administrator.  Also, he's a made of awesome nerdfighter.

Shannon Curran is 20 years old and currently living in Oklahoma. The theatrical arts remain her greatest passion, and Shannon plans to eventually move to the New York area and pursue her career on the stage. Shannon loves music, dance, art, and her family. She is so excited to be a part of The Trevor Project YAC where we can make a difference for the better in so many people's lives.

Josh Deese is 16, openly gay, and a sophomore at Clewiston High School, as well as a freshman at Edison State College. At Clewiston High School he is currently District 19 President of Florida Future Business Leaders of America, Vice President of Student Government, as well as a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, the Cross Country team, and the Gay-Straight Alliance at Edison State College. He enjoys listening to music, reading, jogging, meeting new people, learning about politics, and enjoying life to the fullest! Josh is currently attending Edison State College working towards his Associate’s degree in Pre-Law, so he can obtain his Law Degree, so he can become a lawyer, and later on, head to the campaign trail and run for Congress. He is very excited to be a part of The Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council so he can help the LGBTQ community, troubled teens, meet new people, and break the barriers by creating a new atmosphere where LGBTQ youth can feel safe and accepted.

Shruti Desaj is 20, queer and a junior at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where she is majoring in International Politics, and works as a Resident Advisor (RA).  She is an intern at Immigration Equality, a group advocating for LGBT inclusive immigration reform, and was formerly President of her college's LGBTQ student group.  Shruti hopes to go to law school after college, and study civil rights law or international law. Shruti grew up in New Delhi, India. She is excited to be part of the Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council so she can help other LGBTQ youth around the US (and perhaps, around the world).

Ernesto Domingueza 22 year old Queer Latino Youth, has pledged most of his life to activism against all forms of oppression and discrimination. Working in grassroots organizations, non-profits, city/county governments, as well as businesses, has given him the chance to advocate on behalf of many minority communities. Ernesto has volunteered as an educator, presenter, committee co-chair, youth advocate/ally, philanthropist and member of a wide variety of youth led and youth serving organizations. Ernesto is passionate about many issues, most of which orbit the idea of using social justice as a means to end prejudice and discrimination. Ernesto enjoys writing poetry, usually aligning itself almost identically with the non-profit volunteer work he does. A fairly new comer to the slam poetry medium, he has little experience performing his poems to a crowd.

*Samantha Gerson is 16, lives in Los Angeles, CA and goes to a private school in West Hollywood. She identifies herself as bi, with mostly lesbian tendencies. She is a soccer player, thespian, and loves to write. One day she hopes to end up at New York University majoring in Social Work and/or Psychology. She also hopes to write an Award Winning novel, and maybe even open up a youth shelter/home for homeless gay youth.  Although she doesnt have any prior experience in working with the Trevor Project, she is excited to be apart of the Youth Advisory Council, helping fellow GLBTQ all over the nation and spreading the voice of the Trevor Project.

Tremaine Jones, also known as Trey, is a 21 year old college student at Barry University in Miami Florida. He is passionate about social change, advocacy and activism especially when it comes to Queer and People of Color movements. He is actively involved in several organizations including Power U Center for Social Change, Change-Makers, The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, and Pridelines Youth Services. Trey is excited to be apart of the Youth Advisory Council and committed to making sure that all LGBTQ youth in Miami and beyond have a safe space to be themselves, grow, and make change in their communities. When Trey is not saving the world from evil doers he goes to the beach, watches documentaries and has a deep passion and connection for Capoeira; a Afro-Brazilian Martial Art.

David J. (“DJ”) Lick is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, where he majored in Psychology and American Studies. In his academic career, he focused on films with LGBTQ characters and on the long-term development of individuals with lesbian and gay parents. He is currently working at a law firm in Washington, DC and volunteering with PFLAG, the HRC, and the Trevor Project. In the next two years, David plans to attend graduate school to study clinical psychology, with a focus on the LGBTQ community. For now, he is thrilled to be a part of the Youth Advisory Council, and can’t wait to get started!

Leah Matz is (in no particular order) a queer, vegan, radical feminist, political resistant, Scorpio, poet, thinker, writer, dreamer, believer, and gangsta. But she doesn't like labels. She began her social justice career by starting her junior high school's first Gay-Straight Alliance. Since its creation four years ago, she has organized and facilitated with such organizations as the Family Equality Council, South Central Minnesota Pride, and Family and Children's Services. She has recently begun her second year as an organizer with the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN), as well as her inaugural year as peer educator with Advocates for Youth's LGBTQ initiatives program YouthResource. In what free time she has, Leah spends her time writing and performing slam poetry, performing drag, cooking delicious vegan food, and pulling the pimentos out of olives. She would like to thank the Trevor Project for this opportunity, and can't wait to make amazing strides with all of you!

Blair Mishleau is 19, happily gay and a college student. He attends Columbia College Chicago, doing an interdisciplinary major between Interactive Arts & Media and Journalism. His main joys include his MacBook, photography with his Nikon, fair and accurate journalism, and gorging on food. His work in the GLBT community includes being president of his school's GSA, attending conferences such as the National Lesbian and Gay Task Force's Creating Change Conference and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist's Convention. He is a bit nervous and really excited to work with the YAC!

Kyle Rudebusch is 22, gay and a freshman in college at National American University, where he is working towards his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management.  Once he receives his degree, he plans on obtaining a career in Public Relations for Equal Rights in the LGBTQ community.  He plans on adopting after college and relocating to the East Coast.  He is passionate about dogs, his life partner, and Techno Remix music.  Kyle is anxious to be part of the Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council where he can repay what once was offered to him.

Stephanie Shea is a 22 year old lesbian from Atlanta, Georgia. She is excited to be completing her last semester of grad school and has big goals for the future! Stephanie has played rugby for about 4 years and also loves to be crafty and make things for people. Her outgoing personality comes in handy while combatting heterosexism every chance she can get. Honored to be on The Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council, Stephanie looks forward to every opportunity to use her social work background to promote the safety and equality of the LGBTQ community.

Andrew Striker is 22 years old and a senior Homeland Security major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Founder and President of the Gay-Straight Alliance and ERAU in 07-08, Andrew is now the President of the Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition and Coordinator for the 2009 Florida Collegiate Pride Conference. Active in the gay community, he is considering taking a position in a gay activist organization upon graduation. He gives a special thanks to all those who have supported him the past few years and is proud to be a part of the Trevor Project's YAC.

Megan Wingo is 20, gay, and a junior at UC Merced where she is pursuing a degree in history and literature. She is a member of the Eta Xi chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma Women’s fraternity, and the president elect of the Lambda Alliance at UC Merced. She loves political activism, The Great Gatsby, and Disney princesses. After graduation Megan hopes to receive a master’s degree in Political Management and obtain a job with the Human Rights Campaign. Megan is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in The Trevor Project Youth Advisory Council and help others in the LGBTQIA community.



Questions? Email Genevieve Sublette