Last month, It Gets Better’s Education team partnered up with Rainbow Labs to host an LGBTQ+ Career Day!
Rainbow Labs is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that emboldens Queer and Gender Nonconforming Youth to discover, curate, and experiment with the elements of a fulfilled life through community building and the lived experiences of mentors.
We brought together 14 LGBTQ+ youth across our organizations and networks to meet with the following LGBTQ+ professionals:
- Cynthia Garcia, from United We Dream
- Elektra Aida, from Project Q
- Jeremiah Michel, from Disneyland Resort
- Jonathan Vickburg, from Community Health Improvement at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- Kaylyn Jade Nagelin-Study, a Wardrobe & Still Life Stylist
- Keenan Burton, from National Geographic
- Mark Katz, a Hospitalist Medicine and HIV Medicine Medical Educator
- Mx. Martinez, a music teacher in Los Angeles
Here are some thoughts from a youth participant, guest speaker, and organizer of the event:
I loved career day. It was so inspiring to see adult queer people in all different professions not only surviving (which is seemingly harder to do every day) but THRIVING. I learned a lot about how identity intersects with jobs for queer people in both positive and negative ways. I think my favorite story was from Mark who came out in the 70s and is now an openly queer scientist at Pfizer. It was also really awesome to see a nonbinary teacher because I’m nonbinary ad want to be a teacher. – Elliot, Youth Voice, 15 years old
Career Day reminded me that we have the opportunity to empower and uplift people in our communities from every walk of life and that we are in crucial times where seeing Queer people lead , succeed and learn on their career paths and grow older is such a gift and learning the power of young people is grounding and fuel for our shared futures and the world I want to leave behind. Thank you for the opportunity to recharge the battery to keep the fight going. – Cynthia Garcia, United We Dream
I wanted to put together this LGBTQ+ Career Day so that our youth can see themselves represented in these jobs that they might not be familiar with or know is attainable. It’s so important for them to have the space to ask questions directly to queer people, especially for our youth who are BIPOC and don’t often get opportunities like this. -Maria, Rainbow Labs