LGBTQQ identified youth are often targets in school settings for harassment, maltreatment, and bullying. This negative treatment often leads to decreased academic performance and limited potential for successful long-term outcomes. Through school and community-wide programming, EQuALITY seeks to increase acceptance of LGBTQQ identified students, foster self-empowerment, and support young adults as they navigate different social environments and interactions between LGBTQQ identified students and allies. The authors hypothesize that with the creation and implementation of EQuALITY, a program designed to create a widespread shift in LGBTQQ acceptance and understanding from the school community, students’ feelings of isolation will decrease, feelings of acceptance will increase, and academic performance will improve. Furthermore, the services offered by EQuALITY will strengthen students’ sense of empowerment as leaders within the school environment and the community at large. While this article focuses specifically on the needs of students attending a middle school in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, the model is applicable in school settings nationwide.

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