Linked LGBTQ+ E-Mentoring Program
Linked Virtual Mentoring
Mentors are screened and trained adults with a passion for building LGBTQ+ community and supporting LGBTQ+ youth
Few peer mentoring programs that focus specifically on LGBTQ+ youth currently exist, because of this, GSA Link is looking to help establish and develop these important peer-to-peer relationships. Growing up, LGBTQ+ youth are often exposed to violence, marginalization, alienation, and rejection from a potential variety of sources: family members, peers, teachers, strangers, and the media, based on their LGBTQ+ identities. Many LGBTQ+ youth are not in situations where they have access to LGBTQ+ folks older than them who are invested in their success, growth, and identity development.
Through virtual communication, both one-on-one and group-centered sessions, we will assist in developing mutually enjoyable connections. This variety of meeting styles will help to not only grow the connection between the pairing, but encourage the youth to interact with others in their own age group to develop multiple networks of support. The community and relationships built together may ultimately help the youth to navigate challenges they face in identity exploration, coming out, breaking down internalized messages of hate, advocating for themselves, and identifying their passions.
By emphasizing the importance of coming together as a community to support LGBTQ+ youth, the Linked LGBTQ+ Mentoring program’s goal is to connect LGBTQ+ youth with an LGBTQ+ mentor, so that the two can develop a trusting, supportive, mutually positive connection. Research on outcomes for young people engaged in mentoring relationships overwhelmingly shows benefits for both parties, including increased self-esteem, higher academic performance, and healthier relationships.
Interested in being a mentor or mentee with our Linked mentoring program? We'd love to have you!
Meet The Team
As Executive Director, Melissa oversees the multiple components of the Linked Mentoring program and works to direct and support and the Linked Advisory Board. Melissa, president of GSA Link, is also a speaker and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth. She is passionate about creating a world for LGBTQ+ to thrive, feel empowered and live their most authentic and successful lives. Melissa enjoys spending her free time with her two sons and loving husband.
Linked Project Manager
Jake is a recent alum of Clark University, having studied Psychology and Community, Youth, Education Studies. His Honor’s Thesis research focused on how LGBTQ+ young adults construct social media’s role in their gender and sexuality development. He has also been involved with Worcester-based nonprofit AIDS Project Worcester as a Peer Leader for an LGBTQ+ youth group. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, making playlists, writing poetry, and spending time with friends. Talk to him about Lorde’s album Melodrama, how internet, tech, and social media shapes our society, or niche reality T.V.
Eli is a second-year student at Clark University where he is studying history and education. He is a queer transgender man who began his medical transition at fourteen years old, and has since advocated for transgender youth's rights. Elijah is very involved with Jewish life on campus, and also serves as the Vice President of Public Relations at Clark's Hillel. His passions include writing, reading, proper queer representation in media, and helping others.
Emma has lived in Worcester & attended Clark University for the past five years, where she started out as a Biochemistry major but fell in love with Sociology her junior year. She graduated last Spring and is now in a Masters of Public Administration program, where she hopes to learn how to dismantle systems of oppression from the inside. Emma is queer and a Sagittarius, she loves to do puzzles and read science fiction, and is mildly nocturnal. Her favorite quarantine coping strategies are holding solo dance parties, video-chatting with friends, and asking her dad to send pictures of their border-collie puppy Scout. Most of all, she is super excited to be a part of the Linked Mentoring program, get to know all of you better, and support you however she can as a mentor coordinator!
My name is Hà Huỳnh (she/her), I’m from Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam. I’m double majoring in Management and Theatre Arts at Clark University. I love painting, growing plants, and reading (my favorite books are Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between The World And Me” and bell hook’s “All About Love”). Nice to meet you all :)