On Friday, April 10, SMYAL had a BBQ to draw attention to National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. This annual observance is incredibly significant due to the staggering statistics that youth around the world face, with an average of one in four new infections among adolescents ages 13-24 in the United States alone. The event was a great success, bringing in a lot of new faces to SMYAL, while also raising awareness about the importance of getting tested and knowing your HIV status. When asking youth at the event to describe what young people need in order to commit to an AIDS-free generation, responses varied from proper education and resources to the emphasis of testing itself. While National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is only celebrated once a year, it is fundamental that we continue to encourage young people to take responsibility over their sexual health by practicing safe sex and getting tested.
All this year, in honor of SMYAL's 30th birthday, we've been reconnecting with youth alumni, founding members, and staff and volunteers from years long past. We collected some of their stories in a special publication entitled "30 Years of SMYAL Stories." Check it out below!
Looking for something new to read? Check out books from SMYAL's library of LGBT literature, biographies, plays, and more! Youth can browse our shelves online here and borrow books from the youth center any time.
Interested in sharing some of your book collection? We're always happy to take donations! Just contact email@example.com. Thank you!
What is SMYAL?
For 30 years, SMYAL has been a safe space for LGBTQ youth and their allies! We provide after-school programming at our youth center, located just steps from the Eastern Market metro station, and work with other community organizations for special events throughout the area.
Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to learn more about what we offer, including support groups, free and confidential HIV testing, internship opportunities, movie nights and more! Following us is also the easiest way to get daily updates about programs and exclusive access to opportunities such as paid survey participation, upcoming dances and free "field trips" to events both in and outside of the DC metro area.
The Trevor Helpline is a free and confidential service that offers hope and someone to talk to, 24/7. The Trevor Helpline's trained counselors will listen and understand without judgment.
If you or someone you know would like to talk to one of Trevor's highly trained counselors, dial 866-4-U-TREVOR.