Queer Youth Leadership Awards Nominees
Talk of the Bay

 
 
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The Queer Youth Leadership Awards recognizes queer youth across Santa Cruz County for being leaders within their community. Being a leader encompasses many attributes and spans across all disciplines and activities. If you know an out LGBTIQ youth who is making a difference by standing out, being proud and being true to themselves, nominate them for a Queer Youth Leadership Awards.
Full list of 2020 Queer Youth Leadership Awards nominees:
Guests on Talk of the Bay:
Stuart Rosenstein
Chair, Queer Youth Task Force
Co-chair, 23rd Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards
Dr. Faris Sabbah
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools
Nominee, Ally to Queer Youth Award
Dr. Faris Sabbah is the Superintendent for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and has made equity a cornerstone of his work. Dr. Sabbah works to end discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, and gender identity in Santa Cruz County. Dr. Sabbah has implemented subcommittees to include queer youth safety as part of school safety plans and supported the development and implementation of the LGBTQ School Climate Index. He attends county LGBTQ Task Force meetings and local queer events like Pride, youth summits, and the Queer Youth Leadership Awards to show his support and affirm the importance of queer youth. There are few other educational leaders who have invested as much time professionally, personally, or financially for supporting queer youth and families across the county and the state.
Reyes Morales Warne
San Lorenzo Valley High School Student
Nominee, Queer Youth Leadership Award

Reyes Morales Warne is a student at San Lorenzo Valley High School who helped put on the Fall 2019 Queer and Trans Student Summit at Watsonville High. Reyes is described as someone well versed in leadership skills and eloquent and outspoken when it comes to the needs of their community. Reyes worked with the Summit coordinator to help organize the event, composed the theme “Queer Youth Take Over the World” and co-wrote a paragraph for the Safe Schools Project website on why the theme was important. Reyes also helped designate the time slots and locations for the workshops, and on the day of the Summit, volunteered to work as a greeter for the entire event. Reyes has made an everlasting and positive impact on the Santa Cruz County queer community.

Caleb Lennon
Cypress High School Student
Nominee, Queer Youth Leadership Award
Caleb Lennon is an activist and GSA president at Cypress Charter High School. Caleb’s activism for the LGBTQ community took off in middle school when he founded Shoreline Middle School’s GSA. In high school, Caleb has worked with Live Oak School District to guide policies that support diversity and inclusion at schools and has educated staff on best practices for supporting trans students. President of his school’s GSA, Caleb is also a mentor to younger trans youth and supports their transition to high school and their growth in their identities. To provide community for students in independent study and other non-traditional programs, Caleb is working to form an Alternative Education GSA. Caleb is always willing to educate and guide teachers in creating safe classrooms for LGBTQ+ students.
 
Tabitha Humble
New Brighton Middle School Student
Nominee, Queer Youth Leadership Award
Tabitha Humble is an eighth grade student at New Brighton Middle School and president of her school’s QSA. Tabitha advocated for holding elections for club leadership positions and helped plan the campaign process, and she has taken on her leadership role with great enthusiasm. Tabitha has attended multiple YES Conferences and attends weekly planning meetings with her club’s advisor to plan QSA activities, such as the Gender Unicorn, queer music through the ages, and more. Tabitha also took on the task of rewriting the QSA mission statement. Tabitha is described as having a commanding presence and as someone who will not back down from challenges. In addition to her work with the school’s QSA, Tabitha is also committed to the performing arts and her academics.
Shannon Kelly
Director of Upper School, Mount Madonna School

Nominee, Ally to Queer Youth Award
Shannon Kelly is the high school director at Mount Madonna School and she revived the school’s GSA this year after a period of inactivity. Under Shannon’s direction, Mount Madonna GSA has become active and now has student leaders and engaging meetings. The club has sponsored events such as Ally Week, which included inspiring videos of LGBTQ individuls being played at the beginning of the day throughout the classrooms, and Rainbow Spirit Days, where Shannon served rainbow sherbert in the quad for those who dressed in rainbows. Shannon helped to bring  the Triangle Speakers to Mount Madonna and organized discussion groups with the presenters. Shannon has brought acceptance and enthusiasm to Mount Madonna School. Shannon was motivated to bring the Triangle Speakers to Mount Madonna School to further educate the student community and to continue to build an inclusive and safe school environment.
QYLA 2020 Nominees Video Montage
2020 QYLA – What Motivates You to Speak Up for Equality?

2020 QYLA – Who is Your Favorite Role Model?