Ciaran Jones, a student at Lone Star College-Montgomery, is a student leader active in addressing the various issues that surround gender; particularly, they have educated themselves and their community on mental health, diversity, equality, and discrimination. Since Summer 2018, Ciaran has been an integral member of Continuum, the LSC-Montgomery LGBTQQA student organization. Among other important contributions, Ciaran spearheaded a memorial choir concert in memory of Matthew Shepard, where members of Continuum were invited to sing, speak, and lead a candlelight vigil. They also participated in the first two years of the newly annual Woodlands Pride event, helping Continuum provide outreach in the community and promote club activities. Their participation in Woodlands Pride and ability to reach out to and lead peers across campus has led to a more than doubling of club membership--weekly club meetings boast more than 20 students. Perhaps most impressive is Ciaran's leadership in developing (along with other Continuum members) a non-profit organization called Prism Outreach, which will serve the LGBT+ community of North Harris and Montgomery Counties, as the result of their discovery of limited services and support available for the LGBT+ community north of the 610 loop and as far north as Huntsville, Texas.
I have always been fulfilled by helping others, whether it is speaking out for organizations in need or simply making the lives of those around me easier. My experience at Lone Star as an officer of Continuum, the LGBTQ+ Campus outreach group, a Non-binary/Trans individual, and my work with Woodlands PRIDE have exposed a need for more comprehensive community support outside of Houston’s main metropolitan area. I have gathered a team of like-minded students, who constantly see people who need the love and support of an LGBTQ+ family, to create a nonprofit organization that will support, empower, and educate the communities north of Interstate 610 and north to Huntsville. Some of the programs we are working on are inclusivity programs, housing initiatives, and familial and ally support groups to help encompass all aspects of our community so that we may grow together as a whole. I am especially excited for our housing initiative, which would help get homeless or underprivileged LGBTQ+ teens off the streets and in supportive communities to help them become successful and fulfilled, and trans-gender initiatives like access to medical and mental health support.