About

History

In 1984, local youth service professionals and community activists organized a conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth issues after an LGBTQ-identifying youth was hospitalized. Through this conference, advocates founded SMYAL to meet the needs of LGBTQ youth in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

How?

By creating leadership development opportunities, after-school programs, and counseling services designed to empower LGBTQ youth and educate their local community. Our organization strives to help these young leaders build advocacy skills and access crucial resources they need to succeed. We also provide education and training programs for youth service providers working in schools, runaway shelters, local government agencies, and hospitals.

Committed to social change, SMYAL continues to build, sustain, and advocate for programs, policies, and services that serve LGBTQ youth as they grow into adulthood.

Mission Statement

SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy. Committed to social change, SMYAL builds, sustains, and advocates for programs, policies, and services that LGBTQ youth need as they grow into adulthood.

In the News

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Meet Our Staff

Sultan Shakir
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Sultan Shakir

Executive Director
Jorge Membreño
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Jorge Membreño

Director of Youth Housing and Clinical Services
Jason Laney
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Jason Laney

Development Director
Connor Hegel
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Connor Hegel

LGBTQ Services Navigator
Chyna Johnson-Owens
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Chyna Johnson-Owens

Youth House Case Manager
Kevin Majoros
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Kevin Majoros

Accountant and Grant Manager
Addison Moore
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Addison Moore

After School Programs Manager
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Samantha Nolet, MS, MSW

Youth House Case Manager
Keith Pollard
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Keith Pollard

Youth House Case Manager
Tim Saxton
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Tim Saxton

Director of HR & Operations
Hancie Stokes
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Hancie Stokes

Communications Manager
Jhirbron Tonge
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Jhirbron Tonge

Health & Wellness Coordinator

Get in Touch

Have a question about volunteering, accessing resources, or attending an event? Drop us a line!

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