Anna, 17, is a student at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill., and a self-proclaimed LGBT activist. Also, Anna has worked to create safer schools for LGBT youth in her community.
After writing an article on transgendered youth for her school paper, Anna faced harassment and discrimination from other students at school. Tired of the harassment Anna went to her school board to speak about the lack of support for LGBT youth in schools. Anna is also president of her school's Amnesty International and gay-straight alliance chapters.
Anna has been a member of About Face Youth Theater since 2008 and worked with the Illinois Safe School Alliance since March 2010. Anna hopes to pursue a career in LGBT advocacy work.
Did you know? Anna has an obsession with spandex and denim vests.
Muriel, 18, was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago in the Austin community. She attended Robert Emmett Elementary and graduated as class valedictorian. She then went on to attend Prosser Career Academy High School. There is where she started her LGBTA activism movement. She was president of her school's gay-straight alliance and is also a volunteer with the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. Muriel will be attending Illinois State University in the fall, where she will continue her LGBTA work.
Did you know? Muriel is a huge Michael Jackson fan.
Lasondra, 17, is a rising senior at Walter Payton College Prep, one of the top of Chicago's nine selective-enrollment high schools. She is the president of her school's gay-straight alliance and a member of the Illinois Safe School Alliance's youth committee. In her spare time, Lasondra likes to read, write and draw.
Did you know? Lasondra is a huge fan of David Tennant and Dr. Who.
Hector, 18, identifies as a gay youth activist. He is involved in several community organizations, including the Chicago Freedom School and Vocalo. Two years ago, Hector worked with his gay-straight alliance to create a video in response to homophobia within his own school. He has since been working to get the video shown to the school and to have the school's staff trained on LGBTQ issues.
Did you know? Hector has two amazing dogs, Ralphy and Miley, that keep him going.
Crystal Ramirez, 16, is currently entering her junior year at Lincoln Park High School. She has been working with the Illinois Safe School Alliance for more than a year. Through her volunteer work she has helped organize youth leadership summits, lobby for comprehensive safe-sex education, advocate for the anti-bullying bill and help organize/emcee Chicago's largest Night of Noise event to date. She became an ally for the LGBTQ community because she believes in equality for everyone. She plans on continuing her work through the alliance for years to come.
Did you know? Crystal's hair has been every color of the rainbow.
Chris, 20, is a junior at DePaul University. Minoring in LGBTQ studies, he's well-versed in queer studies and queer theory. Chris was president of his high school's diversity cluband considering it was a suburban Catholic school, there were several challenges regarding the promotion of cultural diversity. Volunteering and then interning for the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance since 2008, Chris was able to work along side other activists to help pass important anti-discrimination legislation affecting youth and teachers in Chicago public schools. He's contributed his design skills to help promote the Day of Silence, youth summits and other events for the alliance.
Did you know? Chris was featured on an ABC-7 news report about frozen parking meters this past winter.