SMYAL - Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders

This Week at SMYAL:

HIV Testing Drop-in Hours:
Monday-Thursday, 3-5 PM
Friday, 3-6 PM

Tuesday 4/15, 5-6:30 PM
: Rap Group -- Sometimes we all get stressed out and need someone to talk to. Managing the pressures of school, dealing with bullying and harassment, coming out to friends and family, finding a job, getting into college: you can talk about all of it in our support group! Contact for more.

Wednesday 4/16, 4-7 PM: Peer Education Interns -- Peer Educators, assemble! There is much work to be done - like educating your peers about HIV/STI prevention and safer sex!  Contact with any questions.

Thursday 4/17, 5-7 PM
: Women's Leadership Institute -- A space for all women-identified folks to gather and build community together. Contact for more.

Friday 4/18, 5-7 PM: Video Game Night -- SMYAL is powering up the Wii and breaking out the controllers. Bring along some of your favorite games and come see if you can beat your high score - or at least make some new friends while trying!  Email or for more!

Thanks for Voting for SMYAL to Win an IKEA Makeover

Thank you to everyone who voted to help SMYAL's youth center get a makeover courtesy of IKEA College Park in Maryland!  Online voting for the 4th annual "IKEA Life Improvement Challenge" closed on March 31, and as the first runners-up, we won a $1,000 gift card to the store!  Be on the lookout for some new furniture soon.... 

Congratulations to Our "Shero" Cathy!

On Friday, March 7, the Mayor's Office of GLBT Affairs named our incredible Youth Leadership Manager Cathy Chu as one of DC's Sheroes for her work empowering LGBTQ youth through the Women's Leadership Institute and GSA Network! In addition to her fabulous dance moves, Cathy works tirelessly to create unique, engaging curricula for both of her programs and develop strong, passionate youth leaders. You can learn more about Cathy and her two fellow Sheroes in this Metro Weekly article and attend the Sheroes of the Movement awards ceremony on Friday, March 21. UPDATE: Check out a quick interview with Cathy in our most recent e-newsletter! Not registered to receive occasional updates to make you SMYAL? Enter your email address in the box at the right to sign up!

Are You a SMYAL Alum? We Want to Hear from You!

This year, SMYAL is turning 30 years old (though we'll always remain young at heart). To celebrate our big anniversary, we are collecting stories from previous SMYAL youth who have "aged out" of our current programs. If you attended any of SMYAL's programming for LGBTQ youth between the years of 1984-2013, please let us know how you're doing and share your favorite memories by filling out this online form to the best of your ability.

Feel free to contact for any additional information or with questions. We are excited to hear from you!

Thank You for Supporting SMYAL this Past Holiday Season

Thanks to you, we had an amazing 2013! Not only did we launch a snazzy new brand identity, but we also piloted two incredible leadership programs for LGBTQ youth -- our Peer Education program and DC Regional Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Network. All this in addition to offering all of the services that DC-area LGBTQ youth have come to know and expect from us over the last 29 years, including HIV Counseling, Testing, and Linkage to Care, support and discussion groups, and safe social programming.

In 2014 we hope to do even more and expand our programs to reach more youth throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. And because of you, we're off to a great start! Your generosity helped us smash our year-end fundraising goal by meeting our donor match challenge and raising over $47,000 in total. Thank you for your support!

Share an Amazon Smile with SMYAL

Online retail giant has launched a new program called Amazon Smile which donates a percentage of each order to customer-designated charities at no extra cost! Sign up today and help support DC-area LGBTQ youth through your holiday shopping or regular purchases.


30 Years of Supporting Local LGBTQ Youth

SMYAL is the premier Washington, DC metro area service organization solely dedicated to supporting LGBTQ youth.

Did you notice our facelift? In the spring of 2013, we launched a new brand identity and modified our acronym to stand for Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders. This exciting move brings our name into better alignment with our youth empowerment and leadership development initiatives, while still carrying on the legacy of our founding mission. (Please note: for legal and tax purposes, our name remains the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League.)

SMYAL's mission is to support and empower lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy. Committed to social change, SMYAL builds, sustains and advocates for programs, policies and services that LGBTQ youth need as they grow into adulthood.

For 30 years, SMYAL has been a beacon of hope for LGBTQ youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Reaching out to provide needed services to more than 11,000 youth and critical training to more than 6,000 youth workers, our impact in the community has been enormous.



To stay up-to-date with current LGBTQ youth-related news, outreach efforts, professional development trainings for youth service providers, and SMYAL's current programs at our Capitol Hill Youth Center and throughout the community, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube through the links below. And please share with your friends!