Name: Charlotte Park
Hometown: Boston, MA
Occupation: Engineering Student, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Why I Found Her at Creating Change:
I caught Charlotte just moments after she had finished participating in the queer youth of color panel at the Saturday plenary session at Creating Change. She had been specifically invited to the conference to participate in that panel, and had rearranged her schedule last-minute to be there. (I can only imagine what it’s like for an engineering student to rearrange her schedule last-minute.)
Charlotte was representing BAGLY, the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth, an organization committed to providing weekly and monthly social activities for people ages 22 and under that has been in existence over 25 years. They also offer HIV, STI, drugs, and alcohol education and prevention programs to help ensure young queer folks can make responsible decisions about their health and get the support they need. BAGLY has also recently started offering leadership development to help foster new generations of queer activists and leaders.
Charlotte got involved with BAGLY because she thought it was important to make time for the community. Even though she doesn’t agree with the entire social movement, she could support youth from BAGLY to network and engage. She hopes to continue doing advocacy work and perhaps do more to support women and queer folks in the sciences, recognizing that both populations are still underrepresented in the research fields.
What She’d Change in America:
Charlotte sees a vital need for a stronger infrastructure supporting disenfranchised youth, including those who are homeless, in foster care, and victims of abuse. If there were less bureaucracy, there would be more money available to support their severely underserved needs.