Kevin, 25, is a graduate student in the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and is nearing the end of a year of service in the National AIDS Fund/AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) AmeriCorps Program. At the Howard Brown Health Center, Kevin conducts HIV/STD testing and counseling while also assisting in outreach education and prevention. Kevin also volunteers with American Indian Health Services of Chicago, serving on its HIV/AIDS committee, and is also on AFC's Junior Board.
Kevin was born and raised in a small town in southern Illinois and has been an advocate for LGBT issues from high school through college, and into his graduate and professional careers. Among other achievements, he has been a freelance writer for The Advocate; and led efforts to bring the 2008 Midwest BLGT and Ally College Conference ( the largest student-centered LGBTQ conference in North America, now known as the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference ) to Illinois in 2008.
Did you know? Kevin has two cats, Colbert and Maddow, that hate each other.
Roxy, 28, serves as the outreach and education coordinator at Chicago Women's Health Center, providing comprehensive sex education for the young people of Chicago. Working with such an LBTQ-inclusive organization gives Roxy the opportunity to engage with the community through several unique services, such as the Alternative Insemination Program and the Trans Gyne Access Project. She also works with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Sexual Health Education to End Rape. She credits her passion for activism with the years she spent in the radical dance troupe Pink Bloque.
Meakose, 28, is a lifelong resident of Chicago's West Side. Meakose currently serves as an advisory council member to the LGBTQ Host Home Program at the Uhlich Children's Advantage Network ( UCAN ) . He was instrumental in creating a video for the program, leading outreach presentations and helping to train current host homes. In late 2009, Meakose and his advisory council peers traveled to Washington to help create a 2010 workplan for a national advisory council of LGBT leaders who meet annually to address LGBT youth homelessness. In addition to his work at UCAN, Meakose is a top graduate of Malcolm X's Certified Nursing Assistant program. According to Meakose, "If all mankind lent a hand to the next, we would all be in a better state of mind."
Did you know? Meakose writes poems to soothe his mind for meditation.
Jason, 29, is an audit manager at KPMG LLP ( audit/tax/advisory firm ) and co-leader of KPMG's LGBT employee-resource network in Chicago. ( Through his efforts, KPMG became one of the first public-accounting firms to sponsor the Midwest BLGTA College Conference, now known as the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference. ) Jason, who resides in Chicago, has led the organization of the Corporate Pride float in the city's pride parade and various community service events with Howard Brown Youth Center through the firm. Jason serves as a mentor to young LGBT professionals, and is actively involved in national corporate LGBT initiatives.
Did you know? Jason has joined the "Petition to have Lady Gaga at Market Days Aug 7th and 8th" Facebook page.
Did you know? Roxy is an aspiring welder.
Mallory, 23, is a native of Illinois, born and raised in the west central region of the state. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated in May 2009 with a B.A. in sociology and gender & women's studies. After graduation, she moved to Chicago to serve with the National AIDS Fund AmeriCorps program. Mallory is working with The Night Ministry, providing HIV/STI services to homeless and precariously housed individualsmany who are LGBTthroughout the city. Some of her favorite work is done with The Night Ministry's Youth Outreach Team, where she conducts HIV testing and counseling with LGBTQ youth in Boystown. Mallory also participates in various service projects benefiting diverse non-profit organizations in the city. She plans to attend graduate school for public health and to continue working with vulnerable minority populations in Chicago.
Did you know? Mallory didn't get chicken pox until the age of 22, during her last month of college.
Brett, 26, began his work with Chicago's underserved and underrepresented inner-city youth as a peer educator and HIV-testing counselor at Broadway Youth Center. As his passion for this particular population grew, Brett concentrated on services benefiting HIV-affected and -infected youth. He continues his work at Howard Brown Health Center as a clinical research assistant, working with HIV+ young people as part of an Adolescent Trials Network ( ATN ) . Brett maintains his involvement with the Chicago LGBTI community by volunteering and encouraging youth to live healthy lifestyles and to be empowered.
Did you know? Brett is a Sci-Fi geek and loves a piece of a bitter chocolate.