Family Week Intern
|Sammie Groom is currently a student at Columbus State Community College and is working on earning a degree in sociology. Born and raised in Ohio, she has a bisexual parent who came out later in life and is a 2nd Gen COLAGEr. She has been volunteering at Family Week since 2012 after briefly living in Washington, D.C. to be the Youth and Campus Outreach intern for HRC. Sammie still lives in Ohio and spends her time traveling around the Midwest.
Jesse Sgambati is an activist, musician and producer who has been artistically involved in many social justice projects and benefit concerts in his hometown. A 2nd Gen COLAGEr he has been involved with COLAGE his entire life and worked as a volunteer staff member for the first time during Family Week 2014. Jesse lives in Syracuse New York with his two dad’s and two dogs.
LilliAnn Simmons Plourde
LilliAnn Simmons Plourde is a student at the University of Vermont pursuing a B.A. in English and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. She was adopted from Paraguay and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts by her two lesbian moms. LilliAnn was COLAGE’s Lead Community Relations Intern during the Summer of 2013, and is currently using her experience as a transracial and transnational adoptee to help create the Adoption Guide.
Youth Advisory Board
Carissa Barry-Moillanen, 13, MA
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, 16, MA
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, 18, Brixton, UK
I am eighteen, I have two mums and a dad, and I was conceived through artificial insemination. I am second-gen LGBT. I have grown up in Brixton, an area of South London that played a monumental role in the history of black activism in England. I am mixed-race (Black South African, White Irish and White English), although I unintentionally ‘pass’ as white. I usually spend my weekends with my friends, going to art galleries, cinemas and charity shops, and attending lectures about social justice issues. On Saturday nights we often go to a Cuban bar that has live music and salsa dancing. My two brothers and sister, who have all lived with my mums and me at various points since they left home, grew up in West Ireland with their mum, and so as a child I spent a lot of school holidays in the Irish countryside. My dad lived in Edinburgh and visited me for almost a week each month until he died when I was nine. I am in the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Film Academy, and will soon be graduating from The BRIT (performing arts) School, where I study Theatre and English Literature and am actively involved in the Feminist Society. I am interested in using theatre, film and writing to explore the interplay between wider social structures and individual identities. I found out about COLAGE six years ago and knowing that this community exists has had a strong impact on my life. I am really excited about being on the YAB!
Jean Azar-Tanguay, 12, MA
My name is Jean and I live in Boston Massachusetts. I’m 13 years old and I am a 8th grader at Boston Latin School and have 2 dads and a brother. COLAGE is important to me because it’s cool to be with people who have families like mine. My brother is a year and a half younger than me and is in 5th grade. Some of my hobbies are arts and crafts. I love to drink tea and cook. I love love love One Direction and am going to their concert. I have 2 aunts I’m very close to. I’m a Girl Scout. My family loves each other even though I’m the only girl.
Hannah Crowe-Cumella, 18, MA
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 Taylor Morrison, 18, KY
Kinsey 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, 16, NJ
Luci is a 16 year old junior in high school from Maplewood, New Jersey. She has two lesbian moms and was born through donor insemination with a handful of half-siblings throughout the country. She ran the COLAGE table at North Jersey Pride this past spring, and has been part of COLAGE programming for as long as she can remember. She hopes to someday be a teacher (think Matilda’s Miss Honey and Robin William’s character in Dead Poets Society), and loves Halloween weather, chai tea, and public radio. COLAGE has created a safe space she never imagined could be so meaningful, and Luci hopes to continue COLAGE’s amazing work.
Seth Jolles, 13, VT
Seth has been designing and imagining for 3 years. Seth hopes that KidSafe will bring info and support to kids who have been bullied for their identification or their parents identification. He has two moms and lives in Vermont. He loves to dance, sing, and act. He hopes to make it to broadway some day, and sing his heart out. Living in Vermont he has been Home Schooled his entire life. Seth is 14 and will be a freshmen next year.
Sonya Rio-Glick, 16, NY
Sonya Rio-Glick is a junior in high school from Albany, NY who lives with her two lesbian moms and twin, Aj. She was born through donor insemination and is a proud “second gen.” COLAGEr, identifying as queer herself. Sonya has been involved with COLAGE since 2009, and loves the welcoming community that it is. A fierce activist and educator, she focuses specifically on awareness around disability. In March of 2014, she will be a keynote panelist for the True Colors conference, the largest conference in the country focused around LGBTQ youth health and wellness. She has appeared in almost two dozen theatrical productions, and enjoys finding new ways to merge the arts and activism. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in theatre and marketing.