About Models of Pride

The 23rd Models of Pride (MOP) Conference will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2015 on the campus of the University of Southern California.  It is presented by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s LifeWorks program.  This free one-day conference focuses on the concerns and interests of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth up to age 24, and their allies. This year’s conference is themed “Sharing Our Stories”.

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The Models of Pride conference offers over 100 workshops, a huge resource fair, exciting entertainment, lunch and dinner, and an evening dance with DJ. The workshops cover many areas of life that are experienced by LGBT youth transitioning to adulthood including but not limited to LGBT issues.  They include “tracks” for teens, older youth, transgender youth, and foster youth.  There is also a Parent and Professional Institute (we expect 250 parents this year!).  We will offer workshops for Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) advisors and other LGBT youth serving professionals who bring their students/clients to the Conference.  A Hospitality Suite will be available to them during the day where they can relax, find resources and network with colleagues.  The Resource Fair has three areas: Service Organizations, Colleges and Universities (recruiting LGBT youth) and Businesses (offering job opportunities and internships).

What is LifeWorks?

LifeWorks is the youth development and mentoring program of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. We offer one on one, peer, and group mentoring opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth age 24 and under. Our goal is to help LGBTQ youth to realize their goals and dreams with a safe space, positive and affirming role models, and workshops & activities that are fun and educational. Learn more about LifeWorks at http://www.lifeworksla.org.

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The History of Models of Pride

Models of Pride was created in 1993 by the Gay and Lesbian Education Commission of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as a means of providing a safe and positive environment where LGBTQ youth could network with each other and expose themselves to new ideas and information. Friends of Project 10, Inc. took over the sponsorship and major funding for this conference in 1998 when the LAUSD abolished all education commissions. For 20 years, conference programs have included a wide variety of workshops covering such topics as dating, coming out, stereotyping, student activism, cultural and religious issues, healthcare issues, creative expression, activism and much more. In 2010, Friends of Project 10 Inc. invited LifeWorks, the LGBT youth mentoring and development program of the Los Angeles LGBT Center to take over as presenter of the conference.

After a successful transition in 2010, LifeWorks has grown Models of Pride from less than 500 youth in attendance to over 1000.  LifeWorks proudly continues the Models of Pride tradition that for so many years has been a life changing experience for thousands of youth.  And, as times change for the better, Models of Pride continues to adjust to meet the ever-changing needs of LGBT youth.

Contact: Kevin McCloskey, Models of Pride Coordinator
323-860-7323, kmccloskey@lalgbtcenter.org

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