Youth Pride Alliance (YPA) was founded in 1996 and as a small, all-volunteer run organization, we rely on the support of the community to succeed. The board members and volunteers of Youth Pride Alliance are a committed group of passionate individuals who reflect the diversity of the LGBTQ youth we serve. Our ability to fulfill our organizational mission is enhanced by our board members and volunteers experiences working with youth in elementary school through college.
YPA hosts programs like Youth Pride Day, provides leadership training and facilitates intergenerational partnerships. We are dedicated to advancing a holistic agenda that addresses the cultural, educational, political & social needs of young people in DC and across the nation.
We envision LGBTQQA youth working together for a just society in which generations of representative leaders understand their individual and collective power while celebrating the dignity and courage for all.
Youth Pride Alliance is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Ally youth empowerment to encourage positive self-development and expression, as well as leadership, while bridging diverse communities and individuals to address issues of visibility, equality, and social justice. We are dedicated to celebrating the dignity and courage of all young people.
The board is composed of members of the general public with diverse interests and background that all come together to support the Youth Pride Alliance mission. All board members serve as volunteers giving their expertise and energy. We are always looking for new board members to represents the diverse communities we serve. We strongly encourage youth, and members of the transgender and Latino communities to apply. If you are interested in being on the Youth Pride Alliance board please send a resume and a cover letter to:
Sarah Blazucki, Treasurer
Sarah Blazucki is an editor for the Peace Corps, where she is co-president of the agency’s LGBTQA employee resource group, Spectrum. She is vice president for print and digital media for the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Sarah is the former editor of Philadelphia Gay News, the oldest LGBT newsweekly in the U.S. Since 2013, she has been on the board of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, an alliance of minority journalist organizations, and has volunteered with Youth Pride Alliance.
In 2012, Sarah led the development of a website to find LGBT rights (lgbtrights.me) by address or GPS locator on a smartphone. Happily, marriage rights have been moving faster than she’s been able to update.
In addition, Sarah is a freelance résumé writer and has served as a contributor, editor and proofreader for several résumé writing books. She received her B.A. from Towson State University in mass communications, with a concentration in journalism and a minor in women’s studies. In her free time, Sarah runs, bikes, climbs rocks and practices yoga.
Nikisha Carpenter, President
Nikisha has served as President of the Youth Pride Alliance board for three years and has been on the board for 10 years. She has spent numerous hours volunteering in the community tutoring, mentoring teens, leading school revitalization teams, phone banking, and fundraising for community groups. Nikisha is a dedicated member working tireless hours leading YPA to fulfill its mission to encourage positive self-development and expression and developing the next generator of leaders. Nikisha received the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club’s 2013 Heil-Balin Community Service Award. She is credited with expanding the organization’s capacity to fulfill its mission of representing the city’s LGBT young people. Nikisha works as a Project Manager for a General Contractor in the District.
Angela has had the pleasure of working closely with young communities to help encourage healthy personal and professional development. The best part of working with these communities for her is identifying passion and energy and helping to direct that into productive outlets and teaching community responsibility. Currently Director of African American Leadership and Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Previously at Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), she worked closely with college students to raise awareness and visibility on behalf of reproductive justice and health issues. Her program focuses on mentorship and education through leadership development opportunities, grassroots organizing, advocacy and political training. Angela was born in Philadelphia, raised in Columbia, MD, but calls DC home along with her wife, Fernanda Ferrell-Zabala, and their twins.
Franklin Johnson, Secretary
Franklin, a native of Alton, Illinois, moved to the DC area in 2006 to study Political Science at the George Washington University. Upon arriving to DC, he has had the opportunity to volunteer for the National Center for Children and Families, the Student Conservation Association, and Toys for Tots. Franklin, a first year board member, is passionate about raising awareness of the challenges that LGBTQ youth face in today's society.
Ace Portis is the Major Gifts Officer at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In her role, she is in direct contact with and oversees both the Major Gifts program and the ever-growing Planned Giving programs. Ace brings several years of fundraising, project management, and event logistics/management experience. Ace has committed her life to philanthropic service, spending hundreds of volunteer and board work hours in various capacities. Ace has presented to and trained hundreds of students and community leaders in diversity and cultural competency. She is a contributing writer and stylist for popular queer publications, she was named by The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) as one of the 100 Black LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders to Watch in its inaugural cohort and has been recognized by the White House as a top LGBT Leader under 30. A recent Bay Area transplant from Washington D.C. with strong Alabama roots, Ace graduated from The Univers ity of Alabama and Old Dominion University, earning a B.A. in Higher Education Administration & Community Development and a M.S. Ed in Higher Education Administration respectively. She has dedicated her life to education, social justice, youth, and overall intersectional equality.
Jeffrey DeShawn Richardson, Vice President
Jeffrey is a long time Ward 6 resident and active community leader. He is the Principal and Founder of Enspired Muse Coaching and Management and serves as the Managing Director of the Unlocking Potential Foundation. In his previous capacity as a senior adviser to former District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Jeffrey served as the Director of the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ Affairs, Chief Service Officer and Executive Director of Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and DC Commission for National and Community Service. Jeffrey is an AmeriCorps Alum and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Howard University School of Social Work.
Sheldon Scott, a native of Pawley's Island, SC, received his B.S. in Psychology from Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. He began his career in Social Work as a Unit Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Horry County. Upon moving to the Washington DC area, he joined a private practice, specializing in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Sex-Offender treatment at Northern Virginia Counseling Group. After this four-year stint as a Psychotherapist, he began studying and performing as an actor, storyteller and writer. He's an acclaimed performer, who also serves on the Board of Youth Pride Day, DC, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, 1A03, and the Regional Manager for Restaurant Marvin.