KYC provides positive youth development programming that focuses on building resiliency and reducing risk factors for LGBTQ+ youth ages 12-20. Our programs engage young people through a safe setting and relevant programming; support youth who are struggling with identity issues, family discord, mental health problems, or the challenges of adolescence; educate youth and the community about LGBTQ+ issues; and advocate for safe and inclusive spaces everywhere.
In 2016, KYC made a successful transition to our new facility in the Discovery District of Columbus, Ohio. Features of the new space include the Tom W. Davis Family Room, the David Bohnett Cyber Center, the Virginia and Nina West Performance Space, the KYC Cafe, a Resource Room, a full kitchen, and The Kiwanis Club of Columbus Multipurpose Room. Last year, 456 unique youth made over 3,500 visits to our Center to participate in weekly programming.
The Center is a safe social space to support young people’s well-being and success through daily programming that falls into five key areas: social and behavioral health; holistic health and wellness; life-skills development; identity affirmation and community-building; and leadership development, empowerment, and advocacy. Program activities within each of these topic areas changes on a regular basis but one of the most impactful programs is Genderscope, a youth discussion group for youth are trans identified, gender-nonconforming, and questioning.
KYC supports and coordinates 89 GSA (Genders and Sexualities Alliance) clubs operating in schools across Ohio where students anywhere along the spectrums of sexual orientation and gender identity are welcomed, and a culture of support and inclusion is developed. Working with an advisor, the clubs’ members learn about determining a group’s mission, setting goals, project planning and implementation, team building, and leadership. The KYC GSA Network Coordinator provides guidance and support to club advisors and officers, linking the clubs together for mutual assistance and also provides training on LGBTQ+ issues to school staff and administrators across the state.
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