By Nayeli Sanchez and Avae Velasquez
A club for the LGBT (and the straight community) is thriving here at Pueblo Magnet High School this school year; the “I Am Me Project” has more than 20 members and supersedes the PRISM Club.
A few teachers noticed that some students’ were struggling with personal frustrations. This is when Ms. Amy Kijewski (world history teacher) and Ms. Sarah Wilson (radio teacher) decided to sponsor the “I Am Me” Project.
“I could tell this year that many kids were in desperate need of [an LGBT club], so it didn’t make sense to not be involved and initiate this club,” said Wilson.
Although the “I Am Me” Project is less than a semester old, sponsors and club members have established many goals and objectives. They want to promote their new acronym, ASKE (Advocacy Support Knowledge Empowerment) as a way for students to feel comfortable and let them know that they have a safe place on campus.
“One of our goals is to give students support and to educate the staff on how to deal with homophobia in the class room,” said Kijewski.
Another goal for this project is to encourage these students to take control so it may be more of a student driven club, Kijewski.
Junior Kia Guedes, the club’s president, said, “Because ‘I Am Me’ is an up and coming club, we have to build a foundation and promote our organization in a way that doesn’t offend anybody and is welcoming to all.”
A way that this club is trying to promote themselves is by hosting the first ever high school Gay Pride Day.
“Holding this Gay Pride Day would let others know that we exist,” Guedes said. “We really want others to know that LGBTQ students are not alone.”
She added that a date has not been set, and no details have been ironed out yet, but it is the hope of club members and sponsors that this event occurs before the end of the school year.
“I Am Me” vice president Manuel Navarro, a sophomore, said, “I wanted to be involved in this club because I knew what other students who felt different were going through.”
Club leaders and sponsors want the Pueblo community to know that all are welcome to attend future “I Am Me” meetings—regardless of a person’s sexual orientation.
“I can’t stress enough that it’s a club for everyone and anyone,” sponsor Sarah Wilson said. “It is certainly a good place for some people who have questions about who they are.”
The “I Am Me” Project meets on Thursdays in Room 100 at 3:30 p.m.