To help us honor the student, adult or organization you are nominating, we are asking the nomination be as robust and insightful as possible so that we may be able to create a bio celebrating their leadership work. Additionally, a robust nomination helps the QYLA judges be better informed.
Below, please find samples of nominations over the last few years — we hope these serve as inspiration and a model when you consider nominating a queer youth, ally or organization.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (831) 427-4004 or email.
Thank you for taking time to nominate an outstanding leader in our community!
Sample Nomination for Queer Youth
How has this Queer Youth made a difference to others?
(Student Name) is an outspoken advocate for justice for queer youth. He consistently reports hate speech and other concerns for the queer and trans communities to staff and educates his peers both inside and outside the classroom on issues relating to the trans and queer communities.
In what ways has this youth been a role model for queer youth in their field of academics, athletics, activism or the arts?
After joining the campus (Student Name) joined the school’s Queer Straight Alliance and immediately began taking on leadership roles. (Student Name) is quiet and introverted and would likely not describe himself as a leader, however he leads by example every day. He has volunteered for every opportunity to represent our school and our club at Open Houses, Pride events, local and regional summits. (Student Name) consistently shows up to support his community. He was instrumental in the recent Queer and Trans Student Summit on his campus, where he also created and presented a workshop on the Asexual Spectrum. He has attended every YES conference, summit, protest, dance, literally every event for queer youth in the community for years. (Student Name) is reliable and persistent in advocating for queer youth.
What obstacles has this youth had to overcome?
(Student Name) has overcome many obstacles in life, including homelessness and poverty, to excel not only socially but academically. He advocated for himself in changing schools as a freshman when he experienced bullying and harassment at his former school. He works to support himself and receives little support, financially or emotionally, from his family. Recently he was diagnosed with ADHD, which has impacted his academics. (Student Name) took charge of his health by advocating for himself, attending doctors appointments, and leading the effort for feedback and eventual accommodations from his teachers.
How does this young person show a promise for the future? Describe leadership abilities this person has demonstrated.
(Student Name) often leads discussions and activities with our QSA. He lead a workshop on Asexuality at the most recent local summit. (Student Name) also applied for and was accepted to attend a national LGBT conference as a local Youth Ambassador. (Student Name) is a student who could easily have fallen through the cracks and done little with his life, but through his own advocacy and persistence he has grown into a capable adult and a leader in his community.
How does this youth stand out above others?
(Student Name) is an exceptional individual. He is easygoing and always has a positive attitude despite the significant obstacles and struggles he has in his life. I have never heard him complain about his life circumstances but rather he uses his situations to connect with others in similar situations and find common ground. (Student Name) is so much stronger than he realizes and his quiet leadership is an asset to all who work with him.
Sample Nomination for Ally to Queer Youth
How has this person interrupted oppression, discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity?
(Ally) began attending the school’s Queer Straight Alliance the first week of her employment on campus three years ago. Since then she has become co-advisor and continues to work as an ally in the community every day. She consistently sets an example to other staff members of how to use inclusive language and never backs down from a teachable moment whether it is with students or staff. She has built trust among our diverse student body and many students go to her to share concerns they have about discrimination or harassment at school which (Ally) follows up on immediately. As her position as Leadership teacher, (Ally) also ensures our Queer youth are represented and supported by school wide systems and policies and she uses her position to raise up the voices of Queer and other disenfranchised students.
How has this person worked to increase the visibility of Queer people?
(Ally) increases the visibility of Queer people by always queering her curriculum to be inclusive of all people. Most importantly, she does this in a way that is natural and ongoing, not tokenizing or as stand alone lessons. When a text she teaches is not inclusive she calls attention to this fact and specifically asks students who is left out and why, and how does that impact folks of different identities? (Ally) also works to bring staff attention back to issues facing our Queer youth who can easily be forgotten by non-ally staff when talking about school-wide policies or plans.
How has this person worked to create support for Queer Youth and allies?
(Ally) immediately joined our QSA when she started at the school and after her first meeting recognized the need for more staff support for the large QSA club. She started taking on responsibilities to help support all the students. This included many unpaid and extensive after-school and weekend commitments such as our weekly after-school meetings, and chaperoning weekend events like YES to allow more students to be able to attend and by the next school year she had officially become the co-advisor. This year (Ally) also joined the Youth Ambassadors as chaperone to a national LGBT conference, (a significant, unpaid time commitment) to ensure they were able to bring more diverse youth to the conference. The school would not be able to do all the work the club and school needs without (Ally’s) ongoing support and commitment to the campuses queer youth and allies.
How does this person stand out as a leader above others?
(Ally) leads by example in everything she does. She always uses her platform as an educator to teach social justice topics in her classes. She consistently advocates for Queer and POC rights and is intentional in her inclusion of Queer and POC voices in her curriculum. (Ally) takes on considerable unpaid work to support the Queer youth on campus and in our community, such as chaperoning events, working as co-advisor to the QSA, and supporting the school’s Leadership to be more inclusive of Queer experiences and voices.
Sample Nomination for Organizational Ally to Queer Youth
How has this organization served queer youth?
(Organization) is a safe, inclusive space for all staff, members, and volunteers – open to all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, documentation status, disability, economic status, etc. The majority of members are low socio-economic Latino youth and young adults. Several LGBTQ members have expressed that they consider it a welcoming space to “be themselves” and explore their possibilities.
Per the Mission Statement: (Organization) is dedicated to providing equal access to technology to young people in poor and underserved communities. (Organization) seeks to stimulate economic development in poor communities by providing youth with the training, workforce skills, and inspiration to reach their full potential in school, in careers, and in life.
In addition to access and training, members are provided with “soft skills” to help them navigate the world of work or higher education.
How does this organization demonstrate leadership in serving queer youth?
An organization is only as good as its leader. The founder of (Organization) is an inspirational leader/role model who demonstrates and encourages complete inclusion – all young people (and staff and volunteers) know they are welcome. Members know they are valued and have ready allies who listen.
What specific accomplishment has this organization achieved on behalf of queer youth?
(Organization) provides a safe, inclusive space for all youth and young adults. For example, as a statement of support for transgender youth, the founder insisted that the (Organization) change all its restrooms, in their new location, to “gender neutral”.
With the new (governmental) Administration, many of the members felt threatened and expressed concern and feelings of vulnerability (even tears). The (Organization) responded with visible signs, inside and out, and messages on their website that underscore their mission to be a safe, inclusive space for ALL.
How does this organization stand out in a leadership capacity above others?
The (Organization) is a model for community youth organizations – a safe, inclusive, welcoming, and encouraging space where adults serve as allies and truly listen to often-underserved youth and young adults.