Youth First Texas grew out of the Youth Services Advisory
Panel (YSAP). YSAP was made up of a group that worked with GLBTQ
youth: staff from Oak Lawn Community Services and Walt Whitman Community
School and volunteers from Cathedral of Hope, The Resource Center,
Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and PFLAG.
It was clear that youth in the community needed services,
but the youth were not a priority within the GLBTQ agencies. There
was little to no money being set aside for youth programming. Through
the work with a consultant in the summer of 1999, it was decided
that an organization whose mission was to provide youth services
needed to be formed. Youth First Texas was incorporated in November
We went from renting space in the Resource Center
to loaned space through the Cathedral of Hope to leasing our own
space at 5415 Maple Ave. We are a unique group in that we are youth
run and youth led. It is a core value to have youth involved in
every decision. We have a youth board that makes all the programmatic
decisions. Youth have leadership in all the programs and have a
voice in the Executive Board.
Our goal is to be the premiere youth agency in North
Texas. When someone has a question on GLBTQ youth, we are called.
When there is a youth event, mainstream or in the GLBTQ community,
we are included. We also want to have ongoing relationships with
mainstream youth agencies to provide training and consultation.
Timeline of Youth First Texas
- Bob Miskinis, Daryl Parker, Bob Ivancic and Emilia Menthe
volunteering time to GLBTQ youth programs
- Summer 1999 Met with Consultant, John Eger, to discuss
how several groups from several different organizations could
come together and provide comprehensive services for GLBTQ youth.
- September 1999 Decided that the only way to provide
comprehensive services to GLBTQ youth is to create a separate
organization whose sole mission is to GLBTQ youth.
- November 1999 Incorporated. Board of Directors included
Daryl Parker, Bob Miskinis, Emilia Menthe, Bob Ivancic
- November 1999 First Strategic Board Retreat. Creation
of Mission Statement.
- Received 501(c)3 status
- Fundraising concert with The Woman's Chorus of Dallas and
The Turtle Creek Chorale with special guest speaker, Judy Shepherd
- October 2000 Trip to Washington DC for NYAC youth leadership
conference (11 youth)
- November 2000 Formation of Drama Group "Out There Productions"
- November 2000 Began work on Mentor Program
- December 2000 Began training series to Dallas Independent
School District's Youth and Family Center Directors
- March 2001 Trip to Austin to participate in Pride Parade
and meeting with Texas Legislatures
- April 2001 Birth of Youth Leadership Board
- May 2001 Began Female support group on Friday nights
- September 2001 Grand Opening of YFT Youth Center
- July 2002 Training with DISD Guidance Counselors
- September 2002 First High School Age Support Group
- November 2002 Grand Opening of new Youth Center
- February 2003 First Transgender Youth Group
- May 2003 NYAC National Youth Summit
..................and the list just keeps growing