June 10, 2015


Hello youth, donors, transgender individuals, care providers, teachers, mentors, and generally interested readers,

Please allow me to explain why it has been a year since we have engaged with you here.  In June of last year, Madeleine Hershey, our Instigator and co-founder, was diagnosed with lung cancer.  I am saying it to you plainly because Mad's death may stop you from smoking cigarettes, stop you from starting again, or help you support someone else as they quit. Mad was remarkable and committed to you knowing how remarkable you are.

When last we posted, ITL had just completed a 10 month Peer Mentor skill and knowledge training followed by a celebratory commencement.  We then collaborated an Internship with Garden of Peace Project and allowed ourselves some rest while caring for Madeleine.

Madeleine Hershey, our magnificent friend, Instigator, co-founder, and skilled mentor died January 2015.

Now ITL re-emerges.

There are many exciting directions for our fresh work to take.  Our line-up of possible projects includes the opportunity to create an internship in collaboration with New Voices Pittsburgh, initiate Phase II of our Peer Mentor Program, offer more Transgender Cultural Competency Training via a Train the Trainer methodology, and provide small grants to transgender youth for professional and leadership development.

I, Bobby Peck, ITL co-founder and financial coordinator, request you consider how you will participate in this next chapter of empowering transgender youth (gender independent, gender queer, gender pioneering, and other descriptors I do not yet know).

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