Cameron Bartosiewicz is a third-year student at CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) and a recipient of the 2021 President’s Award for Student Innovation for his work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Cameron has emerged as one of CI’s rising leaders in community engagement. He saw a need in his community and took active steps to address it -- beginning a new nonprofit 501c3 organization to support LGBTQ students called The Youth Pride Association (YPA). YPA works to promote and foster the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people through education, support, and advocacy. Cameron’s journey began through attending a Communication class at CSUCI on Disparities for LGBTQ individuals, and utilizing this knowledge he founded the YPA. Cameron hopes to use his leadership and organization to create community engagement and learning opportunities for his peers and to decrease misinformation and hate faced by the LGBTQ community. As he continues in this role, I am confident he will do much to promote and foster inclusivity and a sense of true belonging for LGBTQ+ people on our campus and in our communities.
For much of my life, I have seen the disparities LGBTQ individuals face in life. I had myself experienced much of this malice firsthand. About two years ago after coming across some alarming studies, it became apparent to me that the problem bigger than I had initially thought. I knew something had to change, and this is where my work began. I founded a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called the Youth Pride Association, with the purpose to promote and foster the acceptance of LGBTQ people in educational institutions. From this nonprofit, I have gained experience and insight into leadership of a nonprofit organization, as well as been given opportunities to create meaningful on campuses. I have successfully developed and implemented several innovative programs, all working to address the disparities LGBTQ students face in schools. I have been able to work one on one with LGBTQ students seeking additional support, raise awareness for the issues facing LGBTQ students, and insight long-lasting social changes in schools. I believe that through education, support, and advocacy, the alarming and substantial adversities LGBTQ students face in schools can be mitigated.