Established in 2011, LYRIC’s School-Based Initiative (SBI) is a model of bringing LYRIC’s over 30 years of expertise with LGBTQQ youth directly into SFUSD school communities.
LYRIC School-Based Initiative’s purpose is to educate and build allyship among students, school staff, and families to create learning environments where LGBTQQ youth can be successful and truly thrive.
SBI’s Q Groups support middle and high school queer, transgender, gender nonconforming, and questioning youth in the school setting through structured group programming addressing issues such as identity, relationships, and queer sexual health.
What are Q Groups?
Q Groups are confidential, school-based support groups for SFUSD students. They address barriers to positive identity formation and self-esteem building. The weekly, cohort-based groups increase awareness of gender diversity through topics such as coming out, healthy relationships, and gender identity development, and navigating systems as LGBTQ+ youth.
There is almost never a safe space at school, which makes it hard to believe you have a reason to live. Q Group has really helped me. You are surrounded with people who actually believe in you and want you to succeed. – V, age 12
Q Groups Impact
Q Groups address gender-affirming educational topics and offer one-on-one support to youth who have few other safe adults. During the 2018-2019 school year, LYRIC staff had 47 individual sessions with Q Group participants, covering topics as broad as self-care, safety planning, gender dysphoria, bullying, and homelessness. Since Q Group staff also identify as LGBTQ+ and people of color, the level of trust and similarity of experience makes youth connections even more significant.
Whenever homophobic classmates are saying things to me that make me feel threatened or alone, I can think of the people who are part of this Q Group. – A, age 13
Q Groups connect students to mental health professionals and clinics that offer gender-affirming health services. Middle Schools, unlike High Schools, do not have Wellness Coordinators to link youth to therapy. And while, 100% of Q Group participants are connected to school based social workers through Q Group, students lose that support during the summer.
After identifying a need for further connection and engagement during the summer, the SBI team implemented a summer bridge program (Camp Sparkle) in 2019 for Middle School Q Group participants. The program’s goal is to promote self esteem, peer connection, socio-emotional learning, and continued academic success within youth.
Q Group Partnerships
- Health Initiative for Youth (HIFY)
Q Group Sites
If you or someone you know is interested in joining a High School Q Group, connect with the Wellness Center at the school site. For Middle School, connect with the School Social Worker. Make sure to keep an eye out for LYRIC tabling at your school for more information!
- Thurgood Marshall
- John O’Connell
- June Jordan
- Visitacion Valley
- James Lick
For more information about Q Groups from LYRIC, please contact SBI Team firstname.lastname@example.org
School-Based Initiative Documents to View/Download:
For other press inquiries…
Jodi L. Schwartz
LYRIC Executive Director