Apple donating $1M to group providing resources to LGBTQ+ youth

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Apple is donating $1 million and technology products to help a nonprofit called Encircle to help expand its LGBTQ+ youth community resource centers to new states.

Credit: Encircle
Credit: Encircle


Encircle provides community resource houses to LGBTQ+ youth and their families. The organization operates three homes in Utah, and is launching a new campaign to launch eight new centers in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.

Apple, together with Qualtrics founder and Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith and Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds and his wife, recording artist Aja Volkman, will help jumpstart the campaign with monetary contributions and other donations.

For example, Apple is donating $1 million and will "contribute products that promote digital connection, creativity and education." The package includes what appears to be the usual assortment of tech hardware Apple typically donates to educational institutions. Reynolds and Volkman will donate Dan's childhood home in Las Vegas. Ryan and Ashley Smith are contributing $2 million.

Additionally, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Ryan and Ashley SMith, and Dan Reynolds and Aja Volkman will also serve as honorary co-chairs of the new campaign.

"All LGBTQ+ people should feel safe and supported enough to be open about who they are with their community and themselves. Encircle is helping to bridge divides and bring people together -- sending a powerful message that the greatest thing you can aspire to become is who you truly are. It's my hope that every young person who feels alone or unsupported can find connection and community at this incredible organization," Cook said.

In addition to its contributions to the organization, Apple also highlighted the story of one family who was helped by Encircle.

First founded in 2017, Encircle has served more than 70,000 individuals with programs, mental health services, support groups, and safe spaces. It has funded thousands of family or youth therapy sessions.

"We are extremely grateful that these global leaders see the vision of the profound work we are doing for LGBTQ+ youth and families throughout our communities," said Encircle CEO and Founder Stephanie Larsen.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 1
    At the risk of being labelled homophobic or transphobic (which I definitely am not) I have reservations about this for kids -- particularly with transgendered kids.

    Kids need to explore and discover who and what they are and they need to develop those things they like and minimize those traits they find less desirable.   It's a time for growth and exploration rather than restriction or specialization.

    By encouraging a kid to lock themselves into a restrictive lifestyle -- particularly one of a trandgendered person (with hormone suppressing or altering drugs that can have permanent effects) -- is probably not in their best interests.

    While a few medical people advocate full blown support programs most of those I have heard from on the topic suggest therapy (to help the kid explore and understand rather than convert) along with "watchful waiting".   They realize that there is little harm in waiting and potentially lots of harm in promoting these lifestyles.

    It seems to me that most of those proposing the full acceptance and encouragement of LBGTQ kids to enter fully into it is based on the assumption that the kid was born that way or born "into the wrong body".   While that may be true, there is little or no convincing evidence to support it.   In truth, we really don't know.   And, not knowing suggests that we should proceed very cautiously and avoid unnecessary life changing decisions in young people.   Very simply:  there is little benefit in rushing it and a lot of potential harm.

    Supporting a kid's exploration along with watchful waiting is most likely to produce the biggest benefit with the least amount of harm.
    exceptionhandler
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