Donate today! Every dollar donated up to $25,000 will be matched by Redlich Horwitz Foundation
The name ‘Spencer’ originally represented a version of me that I thought could exist only in fiction. Now it’s a symbol for choosing myself in real life. It reminds me that I’m writing my own story.Spencer katz, youth communication writer
Dear Friend of YC,
Extensive research has shown that ensuring students feel seen and heard directly relates to increased engagement and academic achievement. That’s where Youth Communication (YC) comes in.
This spring, YC teen writer Spencer Katz shared his moving personal story, “Arriving, Finally, As My Chosen Name.” He chronicles the challenges he faced as a trans teen on his journey to discover his chosen name. It took Spencer dozens of drafts to process his feelings and describe his experiences. He details the mistakes made by some teachers and administrators at his school and how others stepped up and supported him.
Spencer’s story prompted his principal to talk with him about how the school could better support trans and non-binary youth. This reaction by his principal is an extraordinary testimonial to Spencer, his story, and our process. YC stories like Spencer’s shine a light in spaces that can often feel dark and overwhelming to today’s youth.
At YC, we know stories like Spencer’s can transform lives. Donate today to join us in amplifying youth voice and expanding the impact of YC’s stories.
Every dollar donated, up to $25,000, through June will be matched by the Redlich Horwitz Foundation!
Educators send powerful messages to young people when they use our teen-written stories in their academic and counseling work. Using stories from our writing program says loud and clear to youth: you are respected, you are heard, your experiences matter. That’s why thousands of educators we have trained are using our stories and curricula with tens of thousands of youth every year.
Right now, educators are struggling with skyrocketing absenteeism rates and a mental health crisis among teens. Bringing youth voices into schools and programs is more important than ever. Readers see reflections of their own experiences in our stories. They are inspired by reading about peers who find the inner strengths and community resources to meet challenges and work toward their goals. Teen readers see how asking for help, helping others, managing their emotions, and other social-emotional skills promote their wellbeing and make their schools more supportive.
Please donate today to support Youth Communication so we can continue to support youth like Spencer, and ensure other youth like him benefit from his story. Your gift will help us provide our literacy-rich, SEL curricula to the highest need public schools and communities in NYC and around the country.
P.S. Double your impact! From now through June, your donation will be doubled through a generous matching grant from the Redlich Horwitz Foundation, up to $25,000.If you have a corporate matching program, your donation can be tripled. Give today.
Read Spencer’s story and other stories by LGBTQIA+ youth:
- Arriving, Finally, As My Chosen Name by Spencer Katz
- If Allah Loves Everyone, Doesn’t He Love Gay People? by Anonymous
- My First Crush by Anonymous
- Here, Queer, and Finally Clear by Adrian Mora
- When I Told My Parents I was Bisexual by Angie Carty
Are you a friend of a trans person? A parent? An ally who wants to know more? Education is the first step in creating a safer environment for trans youth. View our resources for educators, parents, and other potential allies.