Welcome to Joseph Sewell!


SMYAL is thrilled to welcome Joseph Sewell who joins us as our Youth Transitional Housing Program Coordinator. This is an exciting step for SMYAL because Joseph will help us expand our offerings to the youth in our housing program. Joseph was kind enough to sit down and tell us a little bit about himself. Check it out below!

Why did you choose SMYAL?

I chose SMYAL because it’s really important to me that I get to work in the community. The idea of working for a national organization is appealing but I’m much more focused on affecting positive change on a local, community level. SMYAL has been a community pillar for years and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Why is working with LGBTQ youth so important to you?

I came out (for the first time) at 14 years old and I remember wishing I had access to an organization like SMYAL. While the community in which I grew up was not dangerous or toxic, it wasn’t particularly affirming or supportive either. Resources provided by SMYAL and similar organizations would have made growing up a lot easier, and it’s very important to me to be able to give LGBTQ youth what I didn’t have.

What special quality do you bring to the SMYAL team?

Aside from my laugh, flawless complexion, and culinary fearlessness, I think I bring an eagerness to learn skills from my colleagues and superiors that will help me be my best self.

What is your favorite famous quote?

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” - James Baldwin

How do you engage in self-care?

It usually involves me doing something that shifts my attention from whatever is stressing me (playing video games, cooking, etc). But sometimes, I’ll just have to go to Lush and spend way too much money.

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