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BAYCAT Students Are Empowered to Share Their Personal Stories About Coming Out
When I was creating BAYCAT, I wanted to build a community where people felt safe. I know that sense of safety didn't always exist where I grew up and still today, where our students are growing up. On the day of the robbery that sense of safety was challenged, but as always our amazing team and youth showed that the character of BAYCAT, as an empowering community safe haven for storytelling, remains unchanged.
One team member who was instrumental in creating an atmosphere of inclusion this summer is our new Filmmaking Instructor and Program Coordinator, Zara.
Zara coaching Miguel in her Documentary Filmmaking Class
From the moment Zara began at BAYCAT's summer media camp, she knew she had found her calling:
My three biggest passions in my life are working with kids, documentaries, and social justice. I was in disbelief when I read the job listing for BAYCAT - I could truly combine all three of my interests.
From the minute I saw the art on BAYCAT's front door, I knew there was something different about this place. The culture, the energy, and the love that BAYCAT exudes is unreal.
I work with the youth, getting them excited about documentaries and telling their stories and the stories of their neighborhood. No Hollywood director can tell these stories with the genuine insight that these youth can. I love that BAYCAT gets this.
During her Documentary Filmmaking class this summer, Zara passed her passion for filmmaking and social justice onto her students. One group of students decided to share their personal experiences of dealing with sexual and gender identity, as part of their exploration of Queer Culture and what makes San Francisco unique.
Finding Your Voice
The documentary filmmaking team of Carlean, Gabriela and Luz asked fellow students, BAYCAT team members, and others within the LGBTQ community their thoughts on SF's Queer Culture and Pride. Carlean, age 13, with the support of her friends and classmates, also shared her advice, as a young women who identifies as bisexual, to other youth struggling to find their voice.
You HAVE to watch this video; the honesty and courage of these students is awe inspiring. It is so humbling to see these young people proudly share who they are and to advocate for each other and our community; I am so proud that BAYCAT was able to create a safe space where our youth felt empowered to do so.
There are just 29 days left to raise nearly $25,000, so we can replace the laptops that were stolen in time for next semester and for our future programming. We need you to take a stand and support this safe place where youth can be themselves. Please , share our Show Must Go On Campaign,
what you can to keep supporting the education of these amazing young people.
Thank you, as always, for your support and advocacy!
Founder, President and CEO