The COLAGE Youth Advisory Board was created in the fall of 2013 for youth ages 12-21, to provide more ways for our youth to have direct involvement with developing programs and projects within COLAGE. The youth involved decide together what they want to work on and our Program Director facilitates that happening. Currently, the YAB has started two projects that both create more community, visibility and a venue for their voices to be amplified. If you are interested in being involved, please download and submit the Youth Advisory Board Application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The KidsSafe Blog, is a blog written by and for youth who have LGBTQ parents. The blog was created to document the struggles, rewards and experiences that come along with having one or more LGBTQ parent. It is a way to amplify our voices by creating a platform for our reactions, thoughts, questions and opinions on issues that directly effect us and our families. We also are here to remind each other that we are never alone, and there will always be a network of people to turn to, ask questions to, support each other and celebrate with!
- The online Facebook COLAGE Family is a safe place for folks 13+ who want to connect with others across the country (and world!) who share the experience of having one or more LGBTQ parent. COLAGErs use this group to ask questions, share stories, post videos or related articles. In this space, folks who are from all over the country and world, who often don’t have any other ways to access families like theirs, can create community, support each other, and become strong advocates for themselves and their families.
Meet our Youth Advisory Board!
Carissa Barry-Moillanen, 13, MA
Chris Nolan, 16, MA
Devan Carey-Wells, 18, Brixton, UK
Hannah Crowe-Cumella, 18, MA
Jean Azar-Tanguay, 12, MA
Kinsey Taylor Morrison, 18, KY
Luciana Arbus-Scandiffio, 16, NJ
Seth Jolles, 13, VT
Sonya Rio-Glick, 16, NY
Carissa Barry Moillanen / Hi! My name is Carissa! I am 13 years old and in the seventh grade. Random facts about me!: I love theater, singing and dancing, I play soccer, I love Jennifer Lawrence, my favorite books are the Hunger Games and Divergent series’, I love seafood, my birthday is November 27th, and my favorite movies are Catching Fire, Mamma Mia, and Frozen. So, that was random. Let’s get to the important stuff: What makes me a COLAGEr is my two moms. I have been going to COLAGE for five years and I have loved every minute of it. COLAGE is like a second home for me, and that is why I am on this blog – because I look forward to COLAGE every day and more people need to hear about it.
Chris Nolan / Hello! My name is Chris, I have two moms, I have come to Family Week every year of my life, (the last 16 years), and I am from Plymouth, Massachusetts. I believe that I come from one of the best places for a COLAGEr to live, not only because it’s a quick 90 minute drive to P-Town, but also because I know of several other LGBTQ families that live in my town, and I have almost never seen incidents that I would classify as bullying. I would call myself a true band geek, as I have participated loyally in marching band, concert band, and jazz band, as well as local festivals and conservatories. I am a traveler, as nothing gives me quite as much thrill as going on a road trip. I am a politician, an honors student, a history buff, and a painful idealist. However, even some people who know me well are not aware of all this, since I can be rather quiet and distant. This is why I am so determined to create a new section of the KidSafe Blog where COLAGErs can write out whatever thoughts they have that they tend not to share with anyone else, with the option of writing anonymously. I love coming to COLAGE because I get to converse with people whose ideas are similar to mine, and I want this to last year-round instead of only a week. I look forward to helping out with an organization that I truly care about, and getting to know many people better.
Devan Carey-Wells / I am an 18-year-old girl from London, England. I grew up in Brixton, an area of South London that played a monumental role in the history of black activism in England. I have two gay mums, one straight dad, and three siblings. I am bisexual and second-generation queer. I studied theatre at a non-fee-paying performing arts school until summer 2015, and I am now taking courses in theatre directing, filmmaking (including documentary and animation) and scriptwriting. I am also a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. At Family Week 2015 I helped to lead a theatre workshop with youth in the Camp age group. I am interested in using art as a catalyst for social and political change.
Jean Azar-Tanguay / Hi my name is Jean, I live in Boston with my two dads and brother. My brother is a year and a half younger than me and my full biological brother. My 2 lesbian aunts are a major part of my life and I see them many days a week. I also have 2 gay uncles living in California. I am a violinist, baker and chef with a passion for photography. I am a Girl Scout and I I speak Spanish. I row on my schools crew team and am a member of the schools Latin club. I have been part of COLAGE for about 4 or 5 years now and love it! I like to write posts about my life experiences and posts to help you guys with problems we all face.
Hannah Crowe-Cumella / Hey everyone! I am 18 years old and from Ipswich, Massachusetts. I was adopted from China when I was 4 months old by my two lesbian moms. During my childhood I felt alone and like my family and I were “different”. When I was very young, probably in elementary school, my parents signed me up for Family Week in Provincetown, Mass. I have been involved with COLAGE ever since and loved every minute of it. Being involved with COLAGE isn’t just about meeting other families like you, but after awhile the people you meet start to become your family. I enjoy going to Family Week every year and seeing all my friends. After growing up with COLAGE, I am so proud of having the family that I have. I have gained leadership, confidence and pride, which I never had before COLAGE. My hobbies include skateboarding, drawing, music and sports. I have played almost every sport there is out there and I love playing field hockey, basketball and volleyball. When I grow up I really want to be a multilingual psychologist and counsel LGBTQ youth COLAGErs. My goal is to learn as many languages as possible and help as many people as I can in life.
Kinsey Morrison / 18, is a freshman at Stanford University and alumna of St. Francis School in Louisville, KY. In December, she made a short film called Sanctity with her two sisters about what marriage equality would mean to their family. Shortly after, the Family Equality Council asked her to be the Named Amicus on their brief to the Supreme Court, representing all American children of gay parents who support marriage equality. She can’t wait to speak at the Court this month and hopes to spend the summer planning her moms’ wedding! Kinsey is an aspiring human rights lawyer and documentary filmmaker, and is incredibly excited to serve with an organization so close to her heart.
Luciana Arbus-Scandiffio / Luci is a 17-year-old high school senior from Maplewood, New Jersey. She has two lesbian moms and was born through donor insemination in Brooklyn, New York. She’s an intern for North Jersey Pride, a proud attendant of Family Week, and a total cat enthusiast. She loves bringing COLAGE space to her hometown and advocating for all issues of social justice. She hopes to study art history and creative writing in college
Seth Jolles / Seth is a sophomore in high school and a resident of snowy state of Vermont. He has been participating in COLAGE activities and programs since he was 8. COLAGE has helped him mature as a young adult and performer. He loves to perform, whether that be theatre, dance, or singing. He has a passion for graphic design as well as many other passions which include photography, marketing, and many more. He is a member of the National Honor Society and runs his own non profit marketing company (thepeoplescompany.com). He is honored and thankful for the time he has worked with the COLAGE Youth Advisory Board, and hopes to continue.
Sonya Rio-Glick / Sonya Rio-Glick,18, is an Emerson College freshman studying acting who grew up in Albany, NY with her two moms and twin brother, AJ. Sonya identifies as a 2nd gen Colager, and has volunteered with Colage in many capacities since first joining as a youth participant in 2009. She has a passion for social justice, specifically focusing on disability and LGBTQ+ issues. In the past two years, Sonya has given several workshops on disability and intersectionality of oppression. This past year, Sonya made a documentary on disability entitled The Souls of our Feet. Outside of theatre and social justice, Sonya is an avid foodie and enjoys spending time with friends. To find out more about The Souls of our Feet, visit https://thesoulsofourfeet.squarespace.com