QGroup is a school-based program that increases self-esteem/sense of safety/purposeful belonging among HS LGBTQQ youth at 12 SFUSD High Schools. Each cohort of 3-10 students attends 13 (semester) or 26 (full school year) weekly 1-hr sessions about LGBTQQ identity, healthy relationships, and mental and physical health. Groups meet in HS Wellness Centers (WCTRs) or School-based Health Centers.
At orientation, youth develop group agreements, engage in team-building activities, and complete an assessment and pre-test. Project-based, structured activities such as creative writing, art, games, and discussion encourage self-expression and mutual understanding; co-facilitation, setting program goals, and choosing discussion topics builds leadership skills.
Students contribute to their school’s institutional capacity to serve LGBTQQ youth by creating an LGBTQQ health and wellness project and presenting it to WCTR staff. Projects provide youth-driven strategies to improve LGBTQQ student health, while growing youths’ communication and advocacy skills. The last session is a graduation; youth reflect upon their experience, share appreciations, mark the group’s closure, and complete a post-test.
Wraparound supports are provided by the site’s social worker (SW) and supplemented by a LYRIC Youth Advocate (YA). Before the last session, youth create individual transition plans with the YA and SW, enhancing connection to community- and school-based supports.
This is a collaboration between HIFY and Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC) per the award received from the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF).
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