Youth OUTLOUD has been a safe space for LGBT youth and their allies in the Midlands since 2008. There are two support groups, one for Tweens (ages 11 - 14) and one for Teens (ages 14 - 19). The Teen Support Group meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, while the Tween Support Group meets the 1st Tuesday of the month from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM. We cover topics like Homophobia, Coming Out, School Life, Self Esteem, Dating and Relationships. Dinner is provided, and, YES, you can absolutely bring your friends! Find our current Event Calendar HERE!
How To Join
To be a part of Youth OUTLOUD, youth and parents must attend a 15-minute orientation session with one of the YOL facilitators and fill out the Consent and Information forms. This is important! You cannot participate in YOL without attending the orientation and filling out the required forms. To schedule an appointment for your orientation session, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tween YOL Requirements: Youth must be between 11 - 14 years old AND currently enrolled in middle school.
Teen YOL Requirements: Teens must be between 14 - 19 years old AND either currently enrolled in high school or have graduated high school in the past 3 months.
Our mission is to give the LGBTQ+ tweens and teens between the ages of 11-19 a safe and confidential environment that allows the youth to be who they are and to help them make friends with other LGBTQ+ youth in the surrounding Midlands area. We promote open discussion and encourage the youth to create open dialogue with one another so they may share experiences and make ties of friendship with other LGBTQ+ youth. Membership is free and we encourage you to bring your friends.
Our vision is to transform safe spaces of support into brave spaces for action. By developing youth leadership and creating opportunities for youth-led initiatives, it is our hope that these young leaders not only build a strong community for themselves, but are also able to engage the community of the Columbia area.
We value the time, energy, and dedication of LGBTQ+ youth and their allies in our community. In Youth OUTLOUD, their voices and experiences are center, their identities and expressions are valid, and their fears and hopes are heard.
Jessica Jarman Hayes, M.Ed., LPC, LMHC
Youth OUTLOUD Coordinator
Originally from Florida, Jessica graduated with a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2014. Prior to moving to Columbia, she worked with LGBTQIA+ adolescents and adults in Florida's largest domestic violence center. Currently, she is in private practice as an LGBTQIA+ therapist working clients through anxiety and internalized homophobia. Jessica joined the Harriet Hancock Center as its Youth OUTLOUD Coordinator in 2016.
For more information about Youth OUTLOUD and its upcoming events, email Jessica at email@example.com.