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Panthers to Honor SunServe’s Work with LBGTQ+ Teens on Pride Night

Dawn, Fla. – In the spirit of the NHL’s “Hockey is for Every person” marketing campaign, the Florida Panthers are happy to be welcoming SunServe as a local community winner in the course of their once-a-year Delight Evening celebration on Friday, Feb. 1, when the Nashville Predators visit BB&T Center.

Founded in 2002, SunServe was the initial agency to exclusively concentration in on the social services requirements of the LGBTQ+ local community of South Florida. Because then, they have been advocating for marginalized youth, family members, grown ups and seniors, achieving an believed 5,000 persons per yr by means of their systems.

“There was a huge will need, in particular all over aiding persons with HIV and mental wellness counseling,” explained Steve Schauder, SunServe’s director of progress. “It was just this traumatic occasion in the LBGTQ+ local community, and there was a dire will need for mental wellness counseling for persons without having insurance coverage that could not spend for it. That will need for counseling was genuinely the foundation for SunServe.”

Schauder explained that a single of the most important demographics that SunServe has become a source for is teens since “these are the vital moments in their everyday living when their identity is forming.” With counseling, susceptible youths like 19-yr-previous Graden Brown are given access to the vital help they will need.

“I was distinctive from other kids through my childhood,” Brown explained. “A whole lot of my views were ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Why and am I distinctive from my friends?’ I failed to comprehend right until my pre-teen a long time that I was transgender. That explained a whole lot that was heading on in my childhood, like why persons would address me differently and why I experienced whole lot of problems with social connections and with my friends.”

Brown has been with SunServe for two a long time soon after getting referred to the business by his therapist.

“I experienced no clue that the LBGTQ+ business existed like this,” explained Brown, who strategies to start faculty in the tumble. “To my amazement and shock, I was like, ‘Wow! Okay.’ I went to SunServe and quickly felt like this was the place for me. It was a really welcoming atmosphere. They served me an unbelievable amount… Without the need of them I wouldn’t be the person I am proper now standing in front of you.”

Brown, who has been going through testosterones procedure for 10 months, explained SunServe also served him with his medical transition, a progress he happily describes as the “most effective matter at any time in my everyday living.”

“It is fantastic to be all over persons that fully grasp me,” Brown explained. “It is under no circumstances genuinely an situation since they fairly substantially fully grasp who I am and where I arrived from. We are all fairly substantially the identical.”

As portion of the Florida Panthers Foundation’s Group Champions Grant Program, offered by Moss Construction and the Moss Foundation, SunServe will be obtaining a donation of $20,000 to expand their Youth Training Consciousness and Therapeutic Program, which delivers everyday living coaching and counseling to teens.

With that donation, the business will be able to present these resources to an extra 20 teens in the region, though also getting able to expand their workers in get to arrive at close to 250 other neighborhood teens by means of their ongoing do the job with the Broward County Community University System.

“Athletics teams like the Florida Panthers, they are function products for all people,” Schauder explained of the donation. “Every person appears to be like up to these athletes. When teams like the panthers send out the information that LBGTQ+ teens are portion of our family, it sends a serious critical information to all people.”

Brown explained he will go to the video game to settle for the donation look at with SunServe.

“I am normally energized to explain to my story,” Brown explained. “The far more you know, the better.”

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