Out and About: Support for LGBTQ+ Youth in Santa Fe County


About the event

We often hear about the challenges that LGBTQ+ students face, but we often don’t know the resources available in our community that provide support and work to create more inclusive, welcoming, and affirming spaces. This panel presentation will highlight how LGBTQ+ youth are supported and celebrated in the schools and community, including Santa Fe Public Schools, the Safe Zones program, Gender and Sexualities Clubs (GSAs), classes, events and how programs and policies address violence prevention, homelessness, behavioral health, and suicide prevention. This event is part of our "Learning Together" educational series for donors.

Open to the public
June 29, 2022 11:30 AM

Additional Information

Students whose identities are marginalized suffer disproportionately from negative health and psychosocial outcomes, including low self-esteem, self-harm, depression, suicide, substance use, and harsher punishments. In New Mexico, lesbian/gay/bisexual students face bullying at TWICE the rate of their straight counterparts.

LGB& GNC Youth: 2019 NM-YRRS

LGB = Lesbian, Gay,or Bisexual;  GNC = transgender, gendernonconforming, unsure of gender identity

About the Panelists

Jenn Jevertson (she/they)

Prevention Coordinator, Office of Student Wellness, Santa Fe Public Schools

Jenn Jevertson, M.S. (she/they pronouns) is the School Prevention Coordinator for the Office of Student Wellness at Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS), and oversees wellness, social emotional learning, and prevention efforts related to bullying, suicide, substance use, gun violence, equity, and inclusion. They oversees the Safe Zones Program and the Gender Support Process, in addition to offering consultation statewide since2015.  Jenn has over 22 years of experience in experiential education and therapeutic adventure, experiential education, therapeutic adventure, program development/implementation, training, and policy development at both state and district levels.  Their expertise includes the content areas of experiential education, bullying, gender/sexuality, suicide, substance use, anti-bias, anti-oppression, and youth-driven work. Jenn has presented at over150 state/national/international conference workshops and/or school district trainings. They are a strong advocate for policies and programs that create safer school environments for all students, especially those most marginalized.

Alena Schaim (she/her)

Executive Director, Resolve

Alena Schaim is the Executive Director and Instructor at Resolve, a violence prevention organization based in Santa Fe. She has been working to prevent violence and support survivors for almost 20 years. Her work centers around helping people shift beliefs that shape norms and speak up for themselves & others. She enjoys the balance of supporting school districts and organizations in implementing policies that promote inclusiveness and working directly with staff and students to ensure that community members have the skills to navigate situations that arise. Alena has presented at regional and national conferences on topics including Empowerment Self-Defense, sexual and domestic violence, and preventing violence for specific communities.

Jess Clark (he/him)

Director of Sexual Violence Prevention, New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

(Outgoing Education and Prevention Manager, Solace Crisis Treatment Center)

Jess Clark is the Director of Sexual Violence Prevention for the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, a consultant for Catharsis Productions in Chicago, IL, a transgender education consultant, and the host of Both/And: A Sexual Violence Prevention Podcast. His work over the last decade has focused on increasing youth capacity to interrogate systems of oppression, exploring queer and trans masculinites as a site of violence prevention, and supporting organizations in better serving transgender communities through policies, best practices, and learning to belike his grandma. Jess is a member of the Santa Fe Public Schools Equity and Diversity Council and has served on the Board of Directors for Girls Inc. of Santa Fe and Transgender Resource Center of NM.

Maria Escamilla (they/them)

Program Manager, New Mexico Gender and Sexualities Alliance Network, Santa Fe Mountain Center

Born and raised in Southeastern New Mexico, María Escamilla (they/them) is the newest addition to The Mountain Center’s NMGSAN team. They bring with them nearly eight years of experience in nonprofit people and project management, sixteen years of training and facilitation experience, three years providing health and human services to the LGBTQIA+ community, and six years of working within recovery communities. Their goals are to bring more therapeutic adventure to LGBTQIA+ communities throughout New Mexico and to share in a more consistent way the strong, positive data of the NMGSAN program with school administrators and organizations.


Alissa Byrne (she/her)

Director Of Program Services, Youth Shelters and Family Services

Alissa Byrne is the Director of Program Services for Youth Shelters and Family Services in Santa Fe, NM. She provided case management at the Transitional Living Program for multiple years and also has experience in grant reporting. She helped implement a HUD grant which transitioned into the STAR program and Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program(YHDP). Alissa graduated from UNM with a degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies.


About Learning Together

This year, the Santa Fe Foundation is pleased to announce a pilot educational series, Learning Together, for donors who are fundholders, have named the Foundation as a partner in their legacy planning, and/or are actively engaged in one of the Foundation’s many giving and learning opportunities. Our goal is to create an open and active dialogue around emerging and pressing issue in northern New Mexico and help inspire proactive solutions.


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