An Award-Winning LGBTQ Activist Is Creating An Anti-Bullying Guide. He's Only 16.
Today, we invite you to get familiar with the work of Sameer Jha. Sameer is a 16-year-old activist who has made a name for himself by launching a number of smart initiatives in support of LGBTQ young people. Even at his young age, Sameer has made a huge difference in countless lives, both by changing people's minds and by showing kids in need some love and connection.
As with many activists, Sameer was driven to his work by personal experience. "I was bullied throughout middle school," he says, "because I was a gender nonconforming boy who loved princess toys, singing, and theatre."
Sameer credits his experience coming out during freshman year of high school with transforming his life and sense of self. It also gave him a mission. "I found love and acceptance, as well as a new purpose: to make sure others would not experience the same harassment I did."
So he got started. The young activist founded the Empathy Alliance, a non-profit that works with educators and student leaders to make schools safer for LGBT students. Sameer has also received a Congressional Award, served as a youth ambassador and board member various organizations, and was the 2017 Youth Grand Marshal for the Oakland Pride Parade.
And most recently, Sameer has decided to publish a teacher's guide to creating safer schools for LGBT students. He will be funding the guide via GoFundMe, and plans to distribute it as widely as possible. By putting the book online, Sameer will make it simple for schools to download and print; also, everyone who donates to his GoFundMe campaign can have a complimentary copy sent to a teacher of their choice.