A new year brings new beginnings and this month marks the beginning of the third year for PACEY, our Social Support group for LGBTQA Young Adults of high school to college age. It has been an exciting first couple of years and this year looks to be even better. We’ve seen members join and leave as they continue with their journey in life; but, we maintain a core group of individuals with an average attendance of fifteen young people per meeting. We provide a place to meet with a sense of community; a place to belong. Most importantly we provide a place to feel safe where people can just be themselves. Some meetings we delve into serious topics facing our young people at school and in the community while other meetings are more casual with general discussions and fun. It all depends on their needs.
This past year, at the members’ request, we began meeting twice each month on the second and fourth Thursdays. As a group, we have planned more social activities and have been more visible in the community. That community involvement will continue to grow. It’s important to remember that these young people are the leaders of tomorrow.
As one of the older adults in the room, I’m continually amazed by their insight, touched by their compassion, and encouraged by their awareness of the world around them. With that, we provide a much-needed island of stability in a sea of uncertainty.
None of this would be possible without the support of PACE members and our community. We would especially like to thank Dr. Meredith Nelson with LSUS for her steadfast support in providing guidance and our meeting location. We would also like to thank Erin and Allen Berry for their support in so many ways. Rita Grubbs-Nelson and David Jarrett are indispensable as the other key adults for our meetings. Without their involvement, we would not be where we are today.
It’s important for young people to have someone to confide in, to offer unconditional support, and to help navigate the often-difficult situations facing them in life; particularly the unique aspects facing our community. The individuals mentioned above, and many more help fulfill those roles.
Another exciting aspect of our community involvement is that beginning this month, our local P-FLAG chapter, under the direction of Sherry Kircus, will hold their meetings at the same time in the room next door to PACEY. It was great combining resources for these first concurrent meetings this past Thursday. Our young adult members and their parents, friends and family, will now have convenient meeting times to the benefit of both.
We cannot thank everyone enough for their support. If you know of someone who would be interested in being a part of PACEY, have them contact us through the PACE website or by e-mail at PACEYoungAdult@gmail.com. Our regular monthly meetings are from 7 – 9 p.m., the second and fourth Thursday of the month at LSUS in the Business and Education building, room 115.
Contact Person: Guy L. Robison, Vice-President and PACEY Coordinator
Phone Number: 318-318-205-2629