Give Back Monday for Inside Out Youth Services
Bishops North Academy continues to knock it out of the park in their efforts to give back to the local Colorado Springs community. For the next edition of Give Back Monday happening on January 20, the shop is donating 20% of all service totals for the day to Inside/Out Youth Services of Colorado Springs. The organization, founded in 1990 by Regina Dipadova, addresses the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth in the city and El Paso county. Dipadova recognized that LGBTQIA+ youth in the region are at the highest risk in their peer group for various health-related problems including drug and alcohol abuse, school drop-out, physical abuse, sexual abuse, homelessness, and suicide. The program offers support and recreational activities for LGBTQIA+ youth as well as counseling for drug and alcohol problems.
While the organization has grown exponentially since its inception with now 10 full time staff members and a few multi-year grants, there remains significant challenges to retain funding. “As far as I understand it,” executive director Jessie Pocock says, “Inside Out struggled for a long time for multiple reasons, including the climate was homophobic. I mean, let’s just be real, … funders were not funding queer agencies; they were afraid to.” But the world has changed, and Pocock, who became executive director less than two years ago, has been proactive in securing support.
Youth program manager Candace Woods for Inside Out relates. “And we should be working so that all of Colorado Springs is safe and inviting and welcoming and inclusive of all of our youth.