JARED SCHAAF TO BE FIRST NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIAN TO LEAD A STATEWIDE LGBT ORGANIZATION

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., – The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) Coordinating Committee has elected new leadership, appointed four board members, and formally announces the 2014 Youth Action Conference: Igniting a Pennsylvania Youth Movement for Trans* Justice and Freedom.

At the PSEC Fall Convening held October 18-20, 2013 at Penn State – University Park, Jared Schaaf, Gannon University ‘15, of Erie, was elected Convener of the Coordinating Committee. Jared is the first leader of a statewide LGBT organization from the Northwestern Pennsylvania. Faith Elmes, Indiana University of Pennsylvania ’15, of Landisburg, was reelected as Assistant Convener.

Upon being elected Convener, Jared Schaaf said, “I am humbled by the responsibility entrusted to me by LGBT youth across the state to help lead them into our next chapter of PSEC. I could not be more excited for the task of Convener and for the new direction we as Pennsylvania youth are going to take.”

At the Summer Convening held at Penn State – Behrend (Erie), the Coordinating Committee redesigned the coalition’s leadership pipeline to be more accessible to the wide range of LGBT youth communities across Pennsylvania. The Coordinating Committee is now comprised of eighteen students, two representing each of the nine regions of Pennsylvania, as well as a Convener and an Assistant Convener. Member organizations from schools across the state will send a voting delegate to the annual meeting to elect their representation on the Coordinating Committee.

Assistant Convener, Faith Elmes, said of the new structure, “I am very excited about the optimization of our leadership pipeline, as it allows for multiple levels of involvement. This new model is more accessible and empowers all of us to share our voices as Pennsylvania students.”

Four new members were inducted into the PSEC Board of Directors: Mike Campbell of Johnstown, Chris Moran-Brock of Malvern, Lia Koziell of Erie, and Carolyn Pandolfo of Scranton. The board represents every region of Pennsylvania, and its members are invested in a number of statewide and local community organizations. Mike Campbell is the former President of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Pride Alliance, and the founder of Johnstown Umbrella. Chris Moran-Brock is a student at Drexel University and active in state politics. As a student at Gannon University, Lia Koziell was a founding member of the university’s LGBT student group, Love is For Everyone (LIFE). Carolyn Pandolfo served twice as the President of Scranton Inclusion, University of Scranton’s LGBT student group. She was a PSEC Coordinating Committee for two years, and was recently honored as an outstanding youth leader at the 2014 NEPA Rainbow Awards.

The 2014 Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference will be held February 14-16, 2014 at the University of Pennsylvania. The conference will focus on transgender youth issues in Pennsylvania and the empowerment of trans* youth leadership across the state. This is the third Youth Action Conference held by PSEC. The 2013 Conference at the University of Pittsburgh was the largest statewide gathering of LGBT youth in Pennsylvania history, and united young advocates from every region of the state. State and national LGBT community leaders will be in attendance at the 2014 conference, with the keynote speakers to be announced over the coming weeks.

More information can be found at the conference website: youthactionconference.com

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