Thursday, March 3, 2016

Non-Profit Spotlight: The Trevor Project

The power of storytelling can be deeply moving; particularly when a well-crafted story provides us a deep insight into understanding a world outside our own and inspires us to take action. The founders of Trevor Project did just that. Over 20 years ago James Lecesne told the story of Trevor as part of a one man show that moved producers Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone to encourage the story be brought to film. Peggy directed the live action short  film Trevor and won many awards including an Academy Award.

The project moved the trio to mobilize mental health professionals, initiate fundraising efforts to develop what we now know as the Trevor Lifeline, the first national crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ young people in crisis.

“Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.” 
Since then life affirming resources have evolved to include Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, TrevorSpace and Trevor Education workshops.

Understanding that the needs of callers are immediate and can show up in a variety of ways and places, Trevor Project has developed and compiled Suicide Prevention Trainings and Resources. The trainings and resources have been developed with a community approach to outreach. The trainings available include The Lifeguard Workshop designed for middle and High school classrooms, as well as Ally and CARE trainings which are designed for adults who work with youth outside the classroom setting. Trevor partnered with American Foundation for Suicide prevention, the American School Counselor Association and the National Association of School Psychologists to create the Model School Policy for Suicide Prevention which enables educators and administrators to assess, intervene and respond to suicidal behavior.

I’m honored to share more about the life saving work through this month’s interview with the folks at The Trevor Project.

Please provide us with statistics around the state or status of programs and services offered by Trevor Project. I want to share the need that exists and the very important life-saving work that Trevor accomplishes across the country to help our community each day.

The Trevor Project impacts over 200,000 youth per year through the Lifeline, TrevorChat, TrevorText and and reaches many more through social media and awareness campaigns.

6.85% of all the crisis service contacts to The Trevor Project are from the state of New York.

Where are we on the continuum of Crisis? Is it on a decline? Are persons in crisis reaching out more than in years past? Is it getting better?

The Trevor Project is getting more calls, chats, and texts with each year.

Are there areas (geographical/socioeconomic/ethnic) that seem to indicate more need for support?

The Trevor Project is always trying to reach youth who may not have the resources or means to access our resources. We will soon be starting our southern initiative to reach out to youth in rural areas throughout the southeast.

What prompted Trevor Project to start Trevor NextGen?

NextGen NY was started in 2010, when, in response to increased media coverage of a string of LGBTQ youth suicides, a group of friends got together to put on a small event to support The Trevor Project. They rented out the top floor of a local space, Vlada, and put the word out, expecting no more than 10 or 15 people to show up. They actually ended up turning people away because there wasn’t enough space. Realizing they were on to something, these friends got together with The Trevor Project and formed NextGen as a local volunteer fundraising and outreach group.

What is the primary goal of Trevor NextGen?

Trevor NextGen’s primary goal is to support the Trevor Project in whatever way our resources allow us to do so. Our primary focus is fundraising, throwing two major fundraising events every year (Spring Fling and Fall Fete) that have raised approximated $700,000 in total for The Trevor Project since NextGen’s inception. We also perform outreach and raise awareness for issues that affect the lives of LGBTQ youth. We’ve had panels on intersectionality, race, religion, transgender issues, bisexuality and the media; focusing on how all of these things intersect with the daily lives of the LGBTQ youth that Trevor serves.

How are you reaching the Trevor NextGen audience and how may those interested get involved?

The key aspect that makes Trevor NextGen special is the network of its members. We primarily sell tickets and raise awareness of events through word-of-mouth and the personal social media accounts of our diverse membership, which is constantly growing and changing. We’ve sold out almost every event we’ve ever produced. Anybody interested in getting involved should email

Tell us about A Night out with Trevor: Taste of the City, Spring Fling 2016?

We’re so excited about what we think is going to be the best NextGen event yet! It’s going to be on April 15th at Met West in Hell’s Kitchen. As you may be able to tell by the new event title (it used to be simply “Spring Fling”), we are adding some really innovative and exciting new aspects to the event, including a food tasting! You’ll be able to experience some of the best restaurants from around the city, featuring some really great cuisine that you may not have the chance to try otherwise. We’re also trying to focus more on Trevor’s programming and mission. While not diminishing the fun aspects that our attendees love, we want everybody to come away from the event with a greater understanding of the services that Trevor provides and the youth that Trevor serves.

What message do you want readers to take with them about Trevor Project in general and Trevor NextGen?

First: The Trevor Project is here to end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people.

Second: Trevor NextGen, is a fun and easy way to get involved and support The Trevor Project. There are no membership requirements other than to sign on to Trevor’s mission and help in whatever way you can, or you can just buy a ticket to our events!

How might the NGLCCNY membership best support Trevor NextGen?

The Trevor Project is always looking for volunteers to get involved, whether it is on one of Trevor’s programmatic efforts (the Lifeline, Trevor Text, Trevor Chat; all of which require an application, interview, and training process), helping NextGen organize one of its fundraising or outreach efforts, or connecting The Trevor Project and NextGen with potential corporate partners who may want to sponsor one of our events or donate products for auctions and raffles. You can also buy tickets to one of our events! As I mentioned, Spring Fling is coming up on April 15th and tickets will be on sale March 7th at TrevorLIVE NY is also coming up in June, and that is an annual gala full of amazing celebrities and entertainment all to support The Trevor Project. So there are plenty of ways NGLCC-NY members can support The Trevor Project. Feel free to email for more information.

What message do you want to send out about the work that Trevor is accomplishing?

The Trevor Project is fighting on a daily basis to save the lives of at-risk LGBTQ youth. We want all youth to know that if they, or someone they know is feeling suicidal, The Trevor Project has trained counselors available 24/7 and provides additional resources at

Follow The Trevor Project: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn

Written by Ingrid Galvez,
Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, NGLCCNY
Organizational Development Consultant, Strategic Remedy Group

Interested in being featured? Please contact me at

1 comment:

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