The LGBTQ Center OC is one of the oldest LGBTQ organizations in the United States. Based in Santa Ana, this LGBTQ organization in Orange County provides services to more than 14,000 individuals annually.
Focused on empowerment, support and unity, the LGBTQ Center partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to help make every corner in Orange County affirming and safe.
In this Q&A, the LGBTQ Center shares the importance of volunteerism and mentorship to empower LGBTQ communities.
Q&A with the LGBTQ Center OC
The LGBTQ Center OC was established as a volunteer LGBTQ organization in Orange County in 1971 – volunteerism is at the core of your mission. Can you elaborate on the impact volunteerism can have on the community?
Volunteers are literally the backbone of this organization. It’s through their genuine desire and passion to make a difference that their support is key to the work we do everyday.
Why is it important to have visible and vocal LGBTQ role models in the community?
It is through these LGBTQ role models that the youth will actually see their reflection and provide hope so that they can live their truth.
Similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters, the LGBTQ Center OC focuses on strengthening and empowering youth to achieve positive identity development and leadership skills. What type of opportunities are available for LGBTQ members and allies at the Center to give back to youth?
We provide a variety of resources and support for our youth including facilitating social peer groups, hosting leadership and educational workshops, mentoring the next generation of GSA leaders, to name a few! More importantly we offer a safe space for them to navigate and explore on their own terms.
What kind of guidance or support can a mentor provide a LGBTQ youth mentee?
What’s great about a LGBTQ adult mentor providing a LGBTQ youth mentee support is that they have first hand experience – shared experience if you will on their journey and the questions that pop up growing up as a queer person. That wisdom is so unqiue and special to bestow to our queer youth.
Any final comments to share on the importance of volunteerism for members part of your LGBTQ organization in Orange County?
It takes the community to see true change and volunteering is the best way to make an impact.
Click here to learn more about volunteering as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters.