The Inside Scoop
August 2018
Welcome to Youth Pride, Inc.'s August edition of The Inside Scoop! Within, you will find information about our upcoming Annual Rainbow Party; what it is, why it is important, and why you should come! You'll also be introduced to our two wonderful clinicians who are in our space twice a week for individual counseling. Read on to learn about events and new partnerships YPI has made with several different Rhode Island community groups.
YPI's Annual Rainbow Party Is Right Around The Corner!
YPI's Annual Rainbow Party is the organization's largest fundraising event of the year. This year we hope guests will join us at The Dunes Club on Sunday, September 23rd from 1:30-3:30pm. Guests will connect with other supporters of YPI, meet staff and board members, and get insight into what will be happening in the fall. Light music, open bar, hors d'oeuvres, valet parking, and beautiful views of the ocean are included.
The suggested donation is $250, but contributions of all levels are welcome! Donations are integral to the success of our work, and allow us to continue providing programs and services to our youth.

If you would like to attend our Annual Rainbow Party, you can RSVP by using the link below. Kindly RSVP by September 10th.

The included photos were taken by a YPI staff member at the 2017 Rainbow Party.
RWU Students PArticipate in 'Day of Service' at YPI
The Feinstein Community Connections program at Roger Williams University (RWU) provides all incoming first-year students the opportunity to participate in a day of community service at local non-profits in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts. The program reflects the University's core values.

Community Connections began in 2005 and is in its 14th consecutive year. At the completion of the 2018 program, RWU students will have provided more than 75,500 hours of community service to agencies since the program's creation! The entirety of this year's incoming class, ~1,500 students, dispersed to 33 different agencies on Monday, August 27th and performed acts of service for ~6 hours.
Youth Pride, Inc. was partnered with RWU students a part of the Unviersity's LGBTQ-A Living Learning Communitty (LLC) on campus. These students sorted and organized all of YPI's clothing from our Basic Needs Pantry in anticipation of our upcoming Clothing Swap. The clothing swap allows YPI youth to get the best gear from our pantry before the school year begins while simultaneously allowing YPI youth to bring in their old clothes they no longer use. The day was very successful and YPI looks forward to working with RWU again in the future!
Back To School Resources For Students and Educators
gsa logo
As the Labor Day weekend approaches, students and educators across the state prepare for the start of the 2018-2019 academic school year. YPI would like to remind our friends and community partners that we are a valuable resource for schools to utilize when planning diversity events, starting a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), or in need of professional development trainings.

YPI runs the GSA Coalition of Rhode Island, which provides resources and support to schools wishing to build student groups to support their LGBTQ students. We also host an annual GSA Conference each spring, bringing groups together from across Rhode Island to share information, build community, and take action! If you are looking for school related advocacy, YPI staff can help you find updated state laws and policies, locate a safe and supportive person in your school, provide assistance with starting a Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and reach out to your school or program to offer training on LGBTQ topics.

We work with schools at the middle, high school, and college level. We offer professional development trainings geared towards adult learners. We also visit classrooms for trainings and workshops meant for students. In the past, YPI has recruited tutors into our space to work one on one with the students who utilize our services. If any of these opportunities are of interest to you, please reach out to us at
YPI Partners With RI Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is a nationwide environmental organization that aims to celebrate and protect the environment. Earlier this year, YPI was approached by the Sierra Club chapter of Rhode Island for the opportunity to partner with them on a new initiative. The RI chapter created Inspiring Connections Outdoors, a sub-chapter that specifically works to provide outdoor experiences and leadership opportunities for underserved and marginalized youth in RI. The goal is to establish relationships with agencies and organization that provide services to said youth populations and bring them closer to nature.
YPI is one of the first organizations to participate in the new chapter's activities. Our organizations have set up the first outing, a group kayaking trip at Narrow River Kayaks in Narragansett. All expenses and transportation are handled by the Sierra Club. Currently, 15 youth and staff will be attending the inaugural event.

The Sierra Club plans to expand their program to include more organizations and youth. They are planning daytime outings such as hiking, kayaking, apple/berry picking, farm visits, nature museums/aquarium visits, and even sailing!

YPI is honored to have been chosen to kickoff this great program and hopes it touches the lives of many more RI youth!
Monthly Spotlight
Rhode Island College's Weber Hall
Rhode Island College (RIC) is located in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence and home to 1,198 on-campus students. Although there are six different residence halls on campus, Weber Hall is unique with its newly revised Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) Program.

Weber Hall is a three floor suite style residence hall that can house up to 180 students and has four Residential Assistant(RA) that live and work in the building. Three of the eighteen 10-single-room suites are reserved for RIC's Gender Inclusive Housing Living/Learning Community (LLC). A LLC is a group of rooms/suites in close proximity to one another that offer to house students with similar interests. Weber's LLC focuses on issues of gender, respect, and equality; offering a variety of diverse programs and meetings centered around such topics.

Gender Inclusive Housing allows students of the same or opposite gender to live together regardless of biological sex in a safe and supportive environment. The purpose of Gender Inclusive Housing is to establish a community on campus where residents feel safe and are not limited by gender distinctions. Prior to existing in Weber Hall, Gender Inclusive Housing was attempted at Penfield Hall but the limited number of rooms and a lack of community quickly became concerning. After receiving constructive feedback from students requesting more rooms and cheaper housing options, the program relocated to Weber Hall and rebooted the program. The revised LLC was a great success; originally two 10-single-room suites were reserved for the LLC during the 2018-2019 academic school year but the demand was so high that a third suite was opened and instantly filled.
Any interested student can apply for Gender Inclusive Housing.  Residents will be asked to fill out an application where they share information about themselves and why they feel that GIH would be a good fit for them. Residents will then be expected to respect other members' different motivations for choosing to live in GIH, embrace and learned more about lifestyles different from their own, and actively participate in community events. Students will need to reapply for GIH each year.

The current rate for a suite in Weber Hall is between ten to eleven thousand a year. Each single room is roughly 8 feet by 11 feet, carpeted, and is furnished with a desk, bed, closet, and wall shelf. The suite has ten single bedrooms rooms, a common living area, and two restrooms. Laundry facilities are on the ground floor below the main lounge that highlights a beautiful fireplace and flatscreen TV for residential use.

We would like to thank the staff of Weber hall and especially current Weber RA, Sam Nehila, for providing us with this information and coordinating a donation drive at the college that will benefit YPI!
Meet Our Clinicians!
YPI is fortunate to have two passionate clinicians that connect with our youth. On Tuesdays and Thursdays Molly Heller and Jessica Peters are present in our space to provide individual counseling sessions to youth who access our services. Sessions are of no cost but require an appointment. Youth can make an appointment by talking to a YPI staff member or a YPI clinician.
Molly Heller

Hi everyone! My name is Molly Heller. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at YPI. I received my college degree from the University of Connecticut and earned my Master’s degree in Social Work from Simmons in Boston. Aside from being one of the clinicians at YPI I also teach Brown medical students a course called “Doctoring”. The curriculum teaches the importance of the social emotional aspect of the art of doctoring. I never knew how much I love to teach until I began two years ago.

I have been involved in the LGBTQI+ community since I was eighteen. My mom happens to be a lesbian and I have always felt passionate about the community due to the range of discrimination that still exists today. YPI is a place where youth can be themselves which is essential to being a whole person. The space is filled with music, food, activities, discussions, support and positive energy. I feel so blessed to be working in a environment that I love.

Outside of my work at YPI, I spend a lot of time with my husband Nat and my children Stella (11) and Harry (12). I love exploring the great city of Providence, I love eating, movies, live music, yoga, and hanging with friends including my neurotic (rescue) dog Chloe.

If you have never been to YPI come by and get a tour and say “hello” to us.
Jessica Peters, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist 

My name is Jess Peters, and I am a licensed clinical psychologist at YPI. I received my bachelor’s degree from UMass Boston and my doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Kentucky. After grad school, for my residency and postdoctoral training I came to Brown University, and I enjoyed Providence so much that I’ve decided to make it my home. In addition to working at YPI, I am currently faculty at Brown where I research emotions and risky behavior in adolescents and teach psychologists and psychiatrists in training.  

As a queer individual, making the clinical spaces I’ve worked in more LGBTQ+ aware and competent has been a passion of mine for many years. Working at YPI has been another wonderful way to connect with and contribute to this community. Over the past couple of years at YPI, getting to know the youth here and working with them has been a regular highlight of my week, not to mention source of glitter!
Delaware Becomes 15th State To Ban Conversion Therapy
Conversion therapy is the discredited practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity through aversive therapies under the assumption that it will cure homosexuality. Conversion therapy is cruel and rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

On July 17th, 2017 The Prevention of Conversion Therapy for Children Act  was signed into Rhode Island state law by Governor Gina Raimondo. The passing of S267 and H5277 prohibits "conversion therapy" by licensed health care professionals with respect to children under 18. YPI played a significant part in the creation and implementation of these bills and hopes to see other states follow suite.

The first state to ban conversion therapy was California in 2012. Since then, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Washington DC, and the District of Columbia have implemented laws or or regulations around the prevention of conversion therapy. Cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin have enacted similar protections against conversion therapy. Delaware marks the 15th state to sign protective legislation in regards to conversion therapy on minors. Governor John Carney signed SB65 into law on July 23, 2018. 

If more states do not adopt similar legislature, "an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional", according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
Our Mission
Youth Pride, Inc. is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of youth and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression while working to end the homophobic and transphobic environments in which they live, work and play.

LEADERSHIP:  YPI is committed to creating the leaders of today. Youth voices drive our process, and we seek to develop the leadership skills necessary both within the organization and outside of it.
AFFIRMATION:  YPI believes all youth must be affirmed for who they are and how they express themselves. We are committed to making that a reality in all of the environments in which young people live.
COMMUNITY:  YPI believes building strong connections is essential to youth success and empowerment. We strive to create a caring, respectful and diverse community of young people and adults.
Your tax-deductible donation helps YPI continue to do the important work we do in accordance to our mission. Your gift would be directly investing in our state's LGBTQ youth so that they may have a chance to share their gifts and light with the world.
Our Programs and Services
Youth Pride, Inc. serves over 700 Rhode Island LGBTQ youth and their straight allies a year through a variety of programs and services.
Our Center, located on Westminster Street in Providence, primarily serve as a drop-in and programming space, and is currently open to youth ages 13 to 23 on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-8pm and Thursday from 3 to 5. Youth ages 9 to thirteen are welcome at our exclusive 13 and under drop-in time on Thursdays from 5-8 pm. All YPI Center services and activities are free to youth. YPI youth get to attend events, workshops, cultural, educational, social, and wellness activities at YPI and around the state.

Our center is home to a Basic Needs Pantry, open to youth in need of food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies. We offer one on one counseling with in-house clinicians. Our clinicians facilitate and supervise three peer-support groups.

YPI also offers support to those who work with youth through policy and advocacy, and by providing professional development workshops and technical assistance to service providers and educators.

For more information on getting involved with YPI as a volunteer or if you or someone you know is in need of our services, contact
If you have a story you feel should be included in an upcoming newsletter, email