Good Neighbor: Simon Sanchez students form LGBTQ Club - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Good Neighbor: Simon Sanchez students form LGBTQ Club

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They started the first LGBTQ club at one of the Guam Department of Education's 41 schools. Since their freshmen year, two students have raised awareness on campus and acceptance in the community.
Now, they're both this month's Good Neighbors.  

Co-founder of the LGBTQ Club at Simon Sanchez High School, the first at a GDOE school, 17-year-old President Isaiah Babauta said starting the club on campus his freshmen year was part of his personal journey.


"I come from a family that is religious, I was in and out of the foster care system," he said. "I didn't have a father who accepted me for who I was 326 I just wanted to help other students."  

His goal was to create a sanctuary where students, who identify as LGBTQ, feel safe on and off campus.   


"One of the biggest issues I've noticed since freshmen year is acceptance from their parents and bullying and discrimination within the school itself...and out there," Isaiah said.

Then he met Danelle Evangelista, now a junior, who serves as vice president.

"I wasn't really into all this club and counsel stuff until I met him 148 and so he got me into the Counsel," she said.

"It helped me make friends here and we built a family together," Babauta said.

The LGBTQ Club meets every week to do activities and teams up with local nonprofit GALA Guam.

They donate $100 every year to support GALA's mission to educate the public on the LGBTQ community. Danelle said thanks to the support many students have come out to their families.

"I've seen that we have helped a lot of peers, our friends, become more open," she said. "It makes me happy knowing that they're happy with themselves and their parents are happy too."

For Isaiah, the open dialogue the club helped create with their peers can even save a friend's life.


"He just wanted to talk because he finally came out to his parents," he said. "Suicide was one of the things that he had in his mind, that if things didn't go well, I always told him never to do that. I wanted him to call me. Just saying kind words to him convinced him not to do it."

The pair will continue to give, even after graduation.

Being a good neighbor, with the help of Title Guaranty the students will be donating $100 to Sanctuary Incorporated, a nonprofit that has personally helped Isaiah when he was in foster care. He hopes to inspire others to lend a helping hand.

"It means a lot 1627 it's being involved in the community, doing an act of kindness," he said. "And I guess really volunteering your time and talents, especially that's one of the elements of sharks riding the wave here.

ABOUT GOOD NEIGHBOR

If you know a good neighbor, visit the KUAM website or app and let us know who is deserving of the award and why.

A good neighbor is selected every month, and our friends at Title Guaranty will also give a generous donation to the charity of their choice.

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