GLSEN Hudson ValleyStudents play a vital role in GLSEN’s work. For years, students have been instrumental in creating state and county wide networks of student clubs; they have played roles in introducing and passing of safe school legislation, and facilitated trainings for teachers and community members. They have worked hard to organize in their schools and communities around safe schools for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression and represent the safe schools movement in various media publications.

During this past summer, GLSEN trained students from around the country on strategic action planning, coalition building, leadership skills, and up to date information on safe school policy and legislation. GLSEN Hudson Valley is extremely excited to have two of those students as part of our team here in the Hudson Valley this year.

Marissa Allis attends Poughkeepsie Day School and is entering 11th grade. She has been part of her school’s GSA for the past three years. Besides being an active member of her GSA, Marissa is on the school’s soccer team and captain for the varsity softball team. Marissa found out about GLSEN through her schools GSA and her mother, who is an open lesbian teacher at Marissa’s school. With the influence of her family and teachers, Marissa wants to stand up and be a leader in her community and within her peers.

Alyssa Fernandez is a student at Sleepy Hollow High school and is currently beginning her senior year. She is president of her school’s GSA, which she has been an active member of since her freshman year. This is her first year working with GLSEN as a student leader, and is looking forward to the year ahead of her. Aside from working for LGBT rights, she enjoys a cup of iced coffee and sitting on her comfy couch watching CNN. Alyssa also strongly encourages all people to “thinkb4youspeak.”