Community Engagement & Youth Leadership Manager
Taryn Kitchen (Ty for short) joined the SMYAL team in 2021 as the Community Engagement and Youth Leadership Manager. In this role, they coordinate workshops and trainings for youth and youth-serving professionals on a variety of topics. They also coordinate SMYAL’s Youth Leadership Awards, SMYAL’s annual Activist Camp, the regional GSA network, and other youth leadership programming.
Ty comes to this work with over 4 years of experience at youth-serving organizations in Washington, DC. Originally from Massachusetts, they studied Elementary Education, Community Action, and Latin American Studies at Connecticut College and student-taught in a bilingual sixth-grade classroom. Ty has worked with youth ranging in age from PreK-undergraduate in classrooms, afterschool programs, summer camp, and legal advocacy settings. They believe strongly in the power of youth-led change, and strive to create spaces where youth can be seen as their whole authentic selves.
When not strategizing with youth at SMYAL, Ty can be found rehearsing with their choir, making poetry zines, reading queer YA novels, and carefully tending to their houseplants and garden.