This past Saturday, June 10, 2023, Child Advocates partnered with The LGBTQ Youth Space to celebrate Pride Month at Great America for over ten LGBTQ+ identifying, questioning or ally youth and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers. Child Advocates has hosted a Pride Celebration event the past three years to deepen relationships between youth and CASAs and to create a community where LGBTQ+ children and youth feel safe and welcomed.
The event kicked off with an introduction circle. CASAs, youth and staff members from Child Advocates and The LGBTQ Youth Space went around the circle introducing themselves and shared their preferred pronouns. After introductions, youths, CASAs and staff members split into groups to enjoy the amusement park.
With the beautiful weather beaming over the amusement park, one group of youth and CASAs started with a water ride to cool down. To dry off, the group headed to other thrilling roller coasters, such as the Gold Striker and the Railblazer. Youth who are not thrill seekers explored the arcade games and rode on bumper cars and the Celebration Swings.
After exploring the amusement park, all groups rejoined for lunch at the main food area. Together, everyone got to know each other on a more personal level. According to The Trevor Project’s 2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People, LGBTQ young people who have access to affirming homes, schools, community events, and online spaces report lower rates of attempting suicide compared to those that do not. Having events, partnerships and at least one accepting adult, such as a CASA Volunteer, is an excellent way for LGBTQ+ youth to feel safe, understood, and part of the LGBTQ+ community.
After lunch, CASAs and youth split into groups again and enjoyed the rest of their time exploring the amusement park.
Thank you to our amazing staff and local partner, The LGBTQ Youth Space, for collaborating with Child Advocates and helping make this year’s Pride Celebration event successful.
If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring a youth-related event, please contact our development department at firstname.lastname@example.org.