Community Education & Training

Outreach and education are key components of our mission to make the DC metro area a safer, more affirming place for LGBTQ youth. We offer two basic training models which can be customized to your group's needs:

  • LGBTQ Youth Cultural Competency Training, available for groups of either adults or youth
  • HIV/STI Prevention Training, facilitated by our group of trained youth Peer Educators

LGBTQ Youth Cultural Competency Training

Are you looking to better understand the needs of LGBTQ youth and ways to support them? This training covers all of the basics, from the coming out process and bullying to definitions and explanations. Our facilitators can answer any and all questions concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth culture and will discuss the most effective strategies for working with LGBTQ youth and allies. This workshop, developed and modified over the past five years, has been presented to over 6,000 community members, including school teachers and administrators, community service organizations that work with youth, and the Metropolitan Police Department. It can be tailored to meet the needs of the audience, be they youth, adults, or other specific stakeholders.

Workshops are available for groups of youth or adults. Youth trainings tend to be slightly shorter and more activity-heavy than those presented to adults. Workshops typically last 1.5 – 3 hours, depending on needs and arrangements. We can provide on-site training for groups of 15 or more while smaller groups should attend one of several pre-scheduled trainings at SMYAL’s offices.

Peer Education on HIV/STI Prevention

The Peer Education Internship Program offers youth ages 15-21 the opportunity to be leaders in their schools and communities. Peer Educators serve their community as role models, leaders, and trusted friends by distributing condoms and safer-sex information, promoting HIV testing, and organizing youth-centered events throughout the year.

Being a Peer Education Intern is not only an exciting paid opportunity, it is also a great way for youth to earn community service hours, build their resumes, and make an impact on the lives of youth like them.

What is the Commitment?

Peer Education Interns meet weekly at SMYAL. Metro fare and dinner are provided for each meeting.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer Education Intern, please contact the Peer Education Coordinator at

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