This Is the Club Your HS Should Have Had
High school is a weird time for everyone. Between stressing about back to school style, juggling classwork and navigating the tricky world of making friends, it’s safe to say it isn’t exactly a simple time. But one of the best ways to make high school a lot more fun and a lot less isolating is to get involved in extracurriculars. So if you’ve been thinking of starting a club at your school, we’ve got the perfect suggestion for you: a gay-straight alliance.
Not only could it be a great way to meet new friends and do cool things together, but a GSA could actually save lives. You read that right. A new study out of the University of British Columbia found that at schools with GSA clubs, suicides among gay and straight students are lower overall.
“We know that LGBTQ students are at higher risk for suicide, in part because they are more often targeted for bullying and discrimination,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, lead author of the study and professor with the UBC School of Nursing, in a release. “But heterosexual students can also be the target of homophobic bullying. When policies and supportive programs like GSAs are in place long enough to change the environment of the school, it’s better for students’ mental health, no matter what their orientation.”
The researchers looked at data from more than 20,000 high schools and found that in schools where a GSA had been active for more than three years, “the odds of homophobic discrimination and suicidal thoughts were reduced by more than half among lesbian, gay, bisexual boys and girls compared to schools with no GSA.” And the rate of suicide attempts among heterosexual boys was halved as well. Woah!
We know in general that more inclusion, empathy and understanding are making the world a safer place for everyone, but it’s even more powerful to see statistical proof.
Did your high school have a GSA? Tweet us about it @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)