"I learned about QCH through the SYEP program and my school. I was surprised I didn’t know about the organization sooner since it’s located in my local neighborhood. I joined SYEP at the age of 15 in hopes of getting some pocket cash but most importantly work experience.
“I was born and raised in Jackson Heights for 11 years before I had to move out. Since then, I'd been longing for an opportunity to come back home. Then I came across QCH's Beacon Community Center at PS 149Q.
"I just completed my freshman year at the High School for Arts & Business. During the early part of the school year, I kept hearing great things about the impact of QCH’s Access for Young Women program on adolescents and young adults, so I decided to join.
“I was with QCH Queens Center for Gay Seniors when it began, back when it was in Astoria. I’ve been coming outside to celebrate lgbtq+ pride since the first parade in Queens. This might be my last one, hopefully not, but here I am.”
“Prior to learning about QCH, I was a provider at another childcare network, At the time, I thought it was good that the providers were left to their own devices. We didn’t have much oversight, there wasn’t much direction, and we didn’t get much information.
“When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t pursue those interests as an adult. When I retired from full-time work in 2017, I decided to find a way to reawaken some of that creative energy.