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Empowering Through Experience: Kendra's LGBTQ+ Youth Initiative Blog

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Hello! I'm Kendra Twenter, an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor and Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. I joined Homeless Children’s Network (HCN) in August of this year and have been truly excited to be part of this team. I work within the Ma'at program, which focuses on providing direct services from Black clinicians to Black youth. One of the key initiatives within this program is the Ma'at LGBTQIA+ Dream Keepers Initiative, and over the next few months, I'll be working to build this program up.

As a fat, queer, Black cis-woman who has traveled to places where sex education, LGBTQIA+ concerns, and my own identities have been challenged, I'm deeply passionate about creating a safe space where youth can feel comfortable and heard.

Coming from Boonville, Missouri, I never imagined I'd end up living in San Francisco. My first adventure beyond Missouri was at the age of 16 when I traveled to Italy – quite a shock, I must say! After attending a college just 15 minutes from my mom's home, I had an insatiable desire to explore the world. Three months after graduation, I moved to Moscow, Russia, to embark on my first adult job with a non-profit organization. There, I engaged in conversations with pensioners, assisted in repatriation efforts, presented on breaking down racial barriers, and delivered sex education.

At the age of 22, I found myself in significant discussions with embassies and ambassadors, paving the way for my work today. I learned how to communicate with people, transcending language barriers and embracing cultural differences. Teaching sex education through visuals, handouts, and interpreters allowed me to adapt when information wasn't accessible in various languages. I took on the responsibility of forging connections with businesses, organizations, and individuals to address and combat racist ideologies and policies in Russia and Europe.

I moved to San Francisco in 2017 to further my education and have no plans to leave anytime soon. Armed with two master's degrees, a certification, and the beginnings of my Ph.D. I discovered HCN, and my gratitude has been unwavering.

In my current role within the Ma'at Program, I am laying the foundation for the LGBTQIA+ DKI Program, tailored specifically for Black LGBTQIA+ Youth. As we shape this crucial initiative, I invite you to join me on this journey. Together, we'll explore the unique needs of the LGBTQIA+ community within the Black community and delve into my personal experiences.

My blog will be a diary of this journey, a space where I'll discuss the challenges and victories of this endeavor, and a platform for meaningful conversations about the intersection of identity, mental health, and self-discovery. I can't wait to embark on this journey with you!

To follow me on this remarkable journey, subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned for blog updates.


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