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LifeWorks Mentoring to Become Program of L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Date:6/15/2009

dly the schools, churches and other institutions that should nurture all young people are often unsupportive or hostile to LGBT youth," says Center CEO Lorri L Jean. "That's why LifeWorks is so important and why it's the perfect complement to the Center's services. LGBT youth who are leading successful, healthy and happy lives with support and guidance from trained mentors are far less likely to end up homeless, addicted to drugs and at-risk of HIV infection like many of the youth we serve. Michael has done an amazing job building and growing the organization and he and his team are fantastic additions to the Center staff."

Ferrera, formerly the clinical director and then deputy director of public policy with Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), founded LifeWorks Mentoring in 2002 with a former director of youth services at the Center, Garrison Smith. Over coffee at the Center's Village at Ed Gould Plaza, which will now house LifeWorks, the two decided to develop a mentor model of care that matches LGBT youth with specially trained adult mentors. LifeWorks -- the organization based on that model -- now serves more than 400 youth annually through its 12-month mentoring program, social groups, workshops and activities.

"On behalf of LifeWorks Board Vice President Walter Hubert and myself, I would like to say that this is an exciting development in the evolution of LifeWorks," says LifeWorks board president Chip Sullivan. "We never would have had this opportunity if it wasn't for the unconditional support of our families and friends, an incredibly dedicated board, and the unwavering commitment of Michael and his truly gifted staff."

LifeWorks is supported by a number of generous individuals and philanthropic corporations that include: Target, AT&T, Silver Birches, Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, The David Geffen Foundation, Overture Films and Paramount Pictures.

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SOURCE L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
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