with Ann Rodhe Payes of Big Brothers big Sisters of America
Posted Jul 21, 2017
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LGBTQ youth in America are at higher than average risk for being bullied, harassed and attempting suicide. Having support from a trusted adult through mentoring can be key in helping these young people confront and cope with the challenges they face while exploring their sense of identity.
Ann Rodhe Payes of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America joins Robert Traynham for a meaningful discussion on how her organization is providing LGBTQ youth with mentors and other available resources to tackle this issue. See more of the discussion in part 2 of Mentoring LGBTQ Youth.
Interview recorded June 14, 2017.
Traynham: There are 3.2 million LGBTQ youth in America, and while many children experience challenges with acceptance at some point, LGBTQ youth are higher risks than their heterosexual peers for being bullied, suffering from depression, and even attempting suicide. Hello, everyone, and welcome "Comcast Newsmakers." I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Ann Rodhe Payes, with Big Brother, Big Sisters of America. Ann, welcome to the program. It's good to see you.
Payes: Thank you for having me.
Traynham: I wish we were here talking about a little bit more cheerful, upbeat topic, but this is important. Why do you think LGBTQ youth are more susceptible to being bullied and being harassed and even attempting suicide
Payes: Well, children really start the coming-out process at about age 10, when they're finding out what their sexuality is and having some attraction to the same gender. And as they go through this process, they come out by the time, typically, that they're age 16 to 17. And during this time, they're just really susceptible to a lot of challenges, and people make inadvertent comments that they don't realize might be offensive.
Traynham: I want to read some stats to you, which I think are important. Out of the 3.2 million LGBTQ youth that I mentioned a few moments ago, 61% are girls, 39% are boys. The majority of youth are of color, 52%. And 56.7%, a majority, felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. What I find even more interesting about the statistics that I just mentioned, Ann, is that the Big Brothers, Big Sisters, your organization, is involved in this. How did you get involved in this
Payes:Well, it initially started with some our agencies across the country. They were seeing that youth were --
Traynham: A trend
Payes: A trend. Youth were susceptible to challenges. There were clusters of suicides of youth that were homosexual, and they were having a lot of problems. And we decided Big Brothers, Big Sisters of America is accountable for making all youth have a safe, secure place, and we wanted to help more youth with my organization.
Traynham:So, Ann, speaking of help, what are some of the programs you have in place Is it perhaps finding LGBTQ "bigs" In other words, mentors that perhaps are in the same community or same sexual orientation. Is it youth programs or a combination of all of those things What might it be
Payes: It is a combination. It's not necessary that a mentor be part of the LGBTQ community, but that is certainly welcome. And we want to match a child with an adult who can help them by being positive influence, have some of the same interests, and help them find the resources that they need during this process.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's StonewallInn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
LGBTQ youth in America are at higher than average risk for being bullied, harassed and attempting suicide. Having support from a trusted adult through mentoring can be key in helping these young people confront and cope with the challenges they face while exploring their sense of identity. In part 2, learn more about BBBSA's LGBTQ Mentoring program.
Ann Rodhe Payes of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America joins Robert Traynham for a meaningful discussion on how her organization is providing LGBTQ youth with mentors and other available resources to tackle this issue.
Interview recorded June 14, 2017.
Latinos are underrepresented at America's most prestigious schools, contributing to a lack of diversity in leadership roles in the U.S. Elizabeth Vaquera of Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute discusses Hispanic enrollment, retention and graduation.
All parents want their children to excel in school academically, but many aren't able to afford expensive school supplies for them to do so. This becomes an even greater issue for students entering middle and high school, quickly approaching college application season. Henry Saxon joins Robert Traynham for an intimate discussion on the how the Boys and Girls Club of America is providing students with quality school supplies.
Henry Saxon joins Robert Traynham for a discussion on the how the Boys and Girls Club of America is helping families provide students with quality school supplies.
Interview Recorded June 14, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham.
Read a partial transcript of this interview below:
Traynham: This fall as elementary school students head back to class, parents can spend up to $200 per child on school supplies. For parents of middle and high school students, that figure jumps to more than $330. For families struggling to make ends meet, these costs can be out of reach. Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I'm Robert Traynham, and joining me is Henry Saxon, director of organizational development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Welcome to the program, Henry.
Saxon: Thank you, Robert.
Traynham: You know, I'm pausing for a second here because I just -- When I say those type things and read those stats, it's really depressing that there are some parents out there that really can... look, write a check, and whatever their child needs or children need, they can make it happen. For others, who are living paycheck to paycheck, folks that are struggling between literally food, medicine, the mortgage, car payment, and school supplies, it's a bit of a struggle. How pervasive is this problem
Saxon: Well, thank you for your question. And it is very concerning to all of us and certainly at Boys & Girls Clubs of America, where we have nearly 4 million kids who faithfully come to our clubs each and every day. Many of them are in the demographics that you just described, so... But what's more troubling is, without those critical resources that you cited, young people have a tendency to fall behind if they're not adequately prepared at the start of the school year. And we all know the implications of not having adequate preparation, and they fall behind in some of the things that impact them, particularly academically.
Traynham: The parent who is struggling -- they're probably saying to themselves, "I want my child to do well, but I cannot afford this. And I want my child to soar academically." And they're crying out for help. What can they do How can they turn to perhaps the Boys & Girls Club of America for help
Saxon: Well, one of the things that we're focusing on is we've just launched an after-school initiative called Back2School, and this is where we're having really a call to action, quite honestly, to the public to go to our website, bgca.com, and look at supporting young people by donating after-school supplies and resources so we can distribute them at our nearly 4,000 Club houses across the country. That's one start where we can get critical resources to the kids that you're talking about.
Traynham:And, Henry, for the folks that are watching this program either on their smart device or perhaps at home, what does those school supplies look like Is it just as simple as a pen Is it a laptop Are there books I mean, what is it
Saxon:They're reference materials, paper products, pens, calculators, reading materials, dictionaries, reference materials, as I mentioned -- "A" to "Z." If we're fortunate enough to take things like laptops, we'll certainly get those and accept those as well, but our website has all of that information and some of the things that we advise you to provide for us.
93% of Littles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program believe having a mentor is important to helping them achieve their goals. John Sanchez, Director of Programs for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area shares a discussion on a program geared towards preparing children for the corporate world through mentorship. Beyond School Walls brings children to mentors in the corporate world, introducing them to jobs at an early age, exposing them to new career paths and options for their future. The program offers convenience to mentors by coming to the workplace.