15 Year-Old Lespreneur Makes A Difference By Making It Safe
Posted: 12/01/2011 - 13:35
The Make It Safe Project was created by Amelia Roskin-Frazee
By Michael Lamb
I always stand in awe of anyone who creates an organization or company spurred by their passion for what they believe. It's even more inspiring when you see it being done by a 15 year old young lady. Amelia Roskin-Frazee, a young lesbian from San Francisco has taking the initiative to start "The Make It Safe" Project supporting LGBT youth. The organization's mission is to get LGBT books into the hands of our community's youth who might not have the opportunity otherwise.
Echelon sat down with Amelia, (my new hero) to hear about the project in her own words.
What motivated you to start The Make it Safe Project?
I got involved in activism after I came out to my class the summer before 8th grade. When I got mixed reactions, I decided to start my middle school's Gay-Straight Alliance and later became a Student Ambassador for The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN.org). The idea of sending books to schools came to me when I went to my school's library in search of books about being LGBTQ and discovered that not only was there a lack of books in my school, but a lack of books in schools nationwide. I added in youth homeless shelters when I found out that 40% of homeless youth nationwide identify as LGBTQ.
When did you start it and how has it been going?
The project officially launched in early November and started getting noticed a few weeks later when the article in Bay Windows Newspaper came out. Since then, many wonderful kind people have donated, spread the word, and shared their stories.
Do you have any numbers on the amount of LGBT books your organization has sent?
Each box includes ten books (a mix of fiction and nonfiction). Currently, I have sent over fifteen book boxes to schools and shelters in Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.
Has the organization attracted any donors? Can you expand on this?
Many wonderful people have donated. The Make It Safe Project is not just about large donations (though they are wonderful, of course). The goal is for everyone to be able to take part in making positive change. Donations can be of any size, and many people have graciously donated whatever they can for the cause. Each book box costs $100 to put together and send, but donations of even $10 still play a huge role in changing the lives of thousands of LGBTQ teens.
What kinds of challenges have you and the org. faced?
Every beginning organization struggles to get funding and publicity. Beyond those challenges, not everyone agrees with The Make It Safe Project's goal to make schools and shelters a safe and healthy environment for all children. Many of the schools we send books to refused to pay for resources themselves. It can be hard for students to come forward and request books when they have been discouraged. However, with every new article about The Make It Safe Project, more teens find us and can get the books they desperately need.
Do you have a team working with you or is it just a solo project?
While I am the founder and president of The Make It Safe Project, I would not call it a solo project. Every person who has taken part--whether they have donated, posted the link on their Facebook page, or shared their stories on our website--is part of the team. We are all working towards equality for all.
Since starting the org., what has the response been like? Are you meeting your objectives?
The response has been amazing. I have received many wonderful e-mails from students, parents, teachers, authors, and many others who have shared their incredible life stories with me. My objective in starting this was to make a difference, and that objective was reached the moment my first book box arrived at a school. My more long term goals are to reach schools and/or shelters in every state by the end of 2012 and eventually open up the project to international schools.
Post a Comment: (0) Comments: