By Laura Latzko, Feb. 26, 2015.
For countless LGBT youth throughout the Valley, one n ten offers safe spaces, opportunities to learn and grow, educational and recreational programs, housing assistance, referrals to other
service organizations, sanctuaries to be themselves and an avenue for socializing with others.
During one n ten’s sixth annual Fresh Brunch, March 1 at JW Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa, the organization will highlight its programs and youth accomplishments.
The event also serves as primary fundraiser for the organization, that’s mission is serving LGBTQ youth and young adults, ages 14 to 24, “by providing empowering social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices.
“One of the main objectives of the event is to inform the community of what we do and what impact it has on the youth,” said Linda Elliott, one n ten’s executive director.
Through the brunch, which is expected to draw between 900 and 1,000 attendees, one n ten will showcase its 22-year timeline of service to the community.
22 Years of Growth
During her three and half years as executive director, Elliott said she has seen one n ten make major changes, which have allowed the organization to better serve Valley youth.
Before the organization opened up its youth center in Central Phoenix in Feb. 2012, it was operating out of a 900 square feet two car garage and served approximately 60 youth.
Today, one n ten now has five weekly satellite locations in Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, South Phoenix and Scottsdale, in addition to the central Phoenix Youth Center, which is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Stacey Jay Cavaliere, the organization’s director of programs, said that since he started as a volunteer seven years ago, youth have been increasingly involved in bringing change to the organization.
“We talk to the youth every day and ask them they want and need and adapt our services to provide that for them,” he said.
Additionally, more than 975 youth used programs and services, including its satellite locations and OUTdoors! summer camp, in 2014.
Youth Take Center Stage
According to Cavaliere, there will be more youth included in various aspects of this year’s brunch, which will further illustrate the work one n ten does.
Youth will be greeting guests at the door, one n ten’s SOS Dance Crew will perform and videos will spotlight the journeys and accomplishments of a number of youth.
“That’s why we are here and why we have the event. It’s definitely important to have their voice there,” Cavaliere said. “The event is going to highlight their stories of resilience and just how strong young people are.”
Additionally, more than 40 youth have been selected by one n ten staff to attend the brunch through the through corporate table sponsorships.
Regularly Scheduled Programing
According to Elliott, this year’s brunch will also highlight the Youth Education and Success (Y.E.S.) workforce development program for unemployed youth.
As part of Y.E.S., a 10-week workshop, youth work on writing resumes, take part in mock interviews and learn important job and financial literacy skills. The mentors paired with youth for these workshops commit to working with the youth for a year or more.
“A lot of these youth may not have gotten the development that you or I have gotten because they’ve been kicked out of their homes or they’ve dropped out of school,” Elliott said. “The ability to enable a youth to find employment is huge.”
Elliott said a number of the professionals acting as mentors or putting on presentations for the youth approached one n ten after the 2014 brunch.
To date, 10 youth have participated in the program since its inception last fall. And, within two weeks of the first workshop, all of the participants had secured jobs.
For the third consecutive year, one n ten will present updates on its Promise of a New Day housing and Q High education programs to brunch attendees.
Putting the “FUN” in Fundraiser
Auctioneer Letitia Frye returns this year to host the brunch’s live auction, which will include a culinary experience, jewelry, a trip and interior design services.
According to Elliott, the funds raised during the brunch will make up around one-fourth of one n ten’s annual budget and, in turn, support programs and services offered by one n ten, including its youth center.
10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. March 1
JW Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa
5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale
Admission: $100; VIP tickets, $200