Time to Thrive Conference free to NEA members. Register ASAP

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Register at timetothrive.org

About Time to Thrive

In light of the current health crisis, Time to THRIVE will be switching to a virtual conference platform for our 2021 convening. We will offer an outstanding list of virtual keynotes, including speeches from LGBTQ youth, interactive virtual workshop sessions, online networking opportunities to connect with other professionals from your geographic area and the ability to engage with and download the newest resources from virtual exhibitors. Even more exciting, we have significantly reduced our registration fees to encourage more educators, counselors and other youth-serving professionals to participate. Time to THRIVE is co-presented by the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association and attracts a broad range of youth-serving professionals from all over the United States to learn more about promoting safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation in partnership with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association present Time To THRIVE, the annual national conference to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth…everywhere!

We are making progress on the road to legal equality, yet young LGBTQ people in America still face dramatically heightened rates of discrimination in school, at home and within their community. The impact of family rejection, bullying and the messages they hear about being LGBTQ weigh heavily on our youth. By engaging a broad audience of youth-serving professionals, including K-12 educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches and youth development staff (Boys and Girls Club, YMCAs, scout leaders, etc.), we can create spaces in which LGBTQ youth are affirmed, supported and have the ability to thrive.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released landmark research from their Youth Behavior Surveillance System (YRBS), which provides us with some of the most pressing issues facing our youth today:

According to the CDC’s 2019 YRBS, roughly 35% of LGBTQ youth in the United States have seriously considered attempting suicide. Transgender youth (45%) and questioning youth (40%) are significantly more likely to have considered attempting suicide compared to 13% of non-LGBTQ youth. Additionally, a majority of LGB youth (54%), transgender youth (61%) and questioning youth (61%) are battling depressive symptoms, compared to their non-LGBTQ peers (29%).

LGBTQ youth more frequently skip school than non-LGBTQ youth, citing concerns for their own safety as the reason why they do not attend. HRC Foundation’s analysis of the CDC’s most recent YRBS data found that 24% of LGBTQ youth have skipped school because they felt unsafe. Rates for skipping school elevate to 35% for transgender youth and 41% for questioning youth compared to 8% for non-LGBTQ youth.

As a result of these everyday struggles, LGBTQ youth’s academic careers are suffering–as they are less likely to perform well in school than their non-LGBTQ peers. While a majority of non-LGBTQ youth (78%) have mostly As and Bs, HRC Foundation’s analysis of the 2019 YRBS data shows a grade performance gap for LGBTQ youth (65%). This gap widens for LGBTQ youth of color (63%), questioning youth (63%) and transgender youth (55%). When students don’t feel safe and connected, they are more likely to skip school and less likely to excel academically.

These findings are a call to action for adults who want to ensure the overall well-being of LGBTQ young people. The conference provides a comprehensive opportunity for youth-serving professionals to build awareness and cultural competency, learn current and emerging best practices and gather resources from leading experts and national organizations in the field. The conference is strongly committed to an intersectional approach in all conversations, workshops and keynotes.