5 Organizations Empowering Youth In The LGBTQ Community

Sometimes, growing up queer can be a trying experience. Thankfully, there are a number of organizations that assist and empower LGBTQ young people. For those interested in learning more about their work, here, in no particular order, is a selection of groups that support queer youth of all kinds.

Coming in at #1 is Point Foundation. With offices in Los Angeles and New York, this organization grants scholarships to LGBTQ students across the country. Established in 2001, it has awarded more than 500 scholarships, and it boasts a diverse community of alumni.

Point helps students reach their full potential through a variety of programs. Its scholars are matched with mentors, who give personal, professional, and academic support. Point also provides opportunities for leadership development and promotes service projects that benefit the LGBTQ community.

In the #2 spot is Camp Aranu'tiq. Established in 2009 by Nick Teich, this nonprofit offers safe camping experiences for transgender and non-binary youth. A pioneer in its field, it serves more than 650 individuals over multiple sessions each summer in New Hampshire.

A project of Harbor Camps, Camp Aranu'tiq promotes confidence, resilience, and community among its attendees. It strives to maintain a no-pressure environment, where young people can explore, grow, and have fun without worry. Its sessions cater to children, adolescents, families, and alumni, with activities ranging from archery to water sports.

At #3 is The Naming Project. Officially founded in 2003, this nonprofit is a Christian ministry that supports young people of all sexual and gender identities. To further its mission, its programs promote growth, learning, and discussions of faith among youth.

Specific offerings from The Naming Project include two different summer camps in Deerwood, Minnesota, one for adolescents and another for adults. Both camping opportunities feature Bible study, games, arts and crafts, and explorations of gender, sexuality, and spirituality. The organization also offers the Rev. Megan Jane Jones Memorial Scholarship in honor of its late director.

Coming in at #4 is Keshet. Launched in the Boston area in 1996, today the organization has a national reach, advocating for LGBTQ equality in all parts of Jewish life. With additional office locations in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, it supports families with young children, fights for LGBTQ rights, and provides professional development opportunities.

Its youth efforts center on empowering and celebrating queer teenagers and twenty-somethings. To this end, Keshet runs Shabbaton Retreats, which provide safe, nurturing spaces for queer youth and allies, as well as the GSA Launchpad, an initiative to make communities more accepting. Elsewhere, this organization develops and shares numerous educational resources, covering topics such as inclusion, gender identity, and the coming-out process.

Last but not least, at #5 is one n ten. Operating in Arizona, it provides support services for LGBTQ youth. A nonprofit, the group strives to improve the self-esteem and self-acceptance of the diverse young people it assists.

In support of its mission, one n ten offers a number of practical programs, focusing on areas such as life skills, education, and workplace readiness. Furthermore, it hosts group meetings and fun events at its youth center in Phoenix, as well as at various satellite locations across the state.