Become a Speaker for the Safe Schools Program

Volunteer with the Safe Schools Program and Help Fight Bullying

Learn to Share Your Story at One of Our Training Workshops In October!

Denise Atherley Speaks with Students at the High School for Law and Public ServiceDenise Atherley Speaks with Students at the High School for Law and Public Service

At the heart of PFLAG NYC are personal stories. We share our personal stories, and the stories of our family and loved ones, to foster understanding and bring about change. These stories come to life in our support programs for families grappling with someone’s coming out, they animate the loving portraits that of the Stay Close campaign, and they are the core of our Safe Schools Program.

Volunteer speakers are at the heart of what the Safe Schools Program does. A Safe Schools Presentation is unlike “usual” classroom activities. It does not follow a lesson plan. It does not instruct students to “learn” what is being imparted. Instead, a Safe Schools presentation is built around ordinary people from the community — parents, other relatives, and LGBT people themselves — who share their own stories of having an LGBT loved one, or of being LGBT themselves. These personal stories make the Safe Schools Program uniquely powerful in reaching students. As one educator told us, “The event was absolutely fabulous! Students commented that you never hear parents’ reactions and family stories. It was a new perspective for them. It was a really great program and led to great conversations!”

In the 2015-2016 School year, Safe Schools reached around 6,000 students!, New schools approach us regularly to take part in the program. We always need more volunteers to be speakers in the program and go into schools to share their story. Whether you are a parent of an lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person, someone with an LGBT loved one in your life, or an LGBT person yourself, your story can help others learn what it means to be LGBT and help change the climate in schools for young people growing up LGBT. You may not think your story is remarkable, but even the most ordinary stories told honestly and proudly can spark revelations and change behavior.

In October, PFLAG NYC will hold New Speaker Orientation Workshops, as well as Skill Building workshops for returning speakers in the program. These will help both new and experienced volunteers shape a personal story to fit a Safe Schools presentation. We will help you identify personal stories that will have impact with students and help you develop your ability to leave behind a lasting message. The trainings will be enjoyable and productive with other passionate PFLAG NYC volunteers. By the end, you’ll feel ready and confident to speak at a Safe Schools Program event.

Johanna Antar and Woody EnoicarasJohanna Antar & Woody Enoicaras at a school on the Lower East Side.

"If only my son, who years ago had sat in classrooms just like these and felt so alone with his feelings and concerns about being gay, had had the opportunity to hear presentations like these, I believe that it would have helped him so much."

If you have always wanted to explore volunteering with the Safe Schools Program, here’s your opportunity to get involved. If you’ve already been speaking with us, we invite you to come to our Skill Building workshop, to learn our latest insights on how to be effective with students, and to meet other speakers.

Please join us in October. If you are interested in becoming a Safe Schools speaker and coming to the training, click to send an email to safeschools@pflagnyc.org to sign up.

WHAT: Safe Schools Speaker Training Workshops
WHERE: PFLAG NYC Offices at Citileaf Housing, 130 E. 25th Street, Manhattan

SAFE SCHOOLS ORIENTATION: Monday, October 10, 2016 - 6 to 8 p.m. OR Monday October 24, 2016 - 12 to 2 p.m.
SKILL BUILDING: Monday, October 10, 2016 12 to 2 p.m. OR Tuesday October 25, 2016 - 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

If you plan to come to one of the workshops listed above, you must sign up in advance by emailing the Safe Schools Program

Come and see what speaking for the Safe Schools Program is all about. It will be a great experience, and by becoming a speaker, you can make a huge difference in the lives of LGBT young people in schools throughout New York City.