New program lends support for LGBT high school students

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — A University of Texas student, who founded an online support network for Gay and lesbian high school students, will speak at Pflugerville High School Wednesday to talk about the network.

The program is called “SangaLink” and is in Pflugerville High, Westwood High, and NYOS Charter School as a pilot program.  It’s expected to go statewide in the fall with the help of the Anti Defamation League.

Anna Weingart is the founder and a UT student.  She said she started the program to help high school students to connect with other students in and around their area and build a support system.

Talk on LGBTQ student network

  • Wednesday May 28, 2012
  • 4:45 p.m.
  • Pflugerville High School
  • 1301 Pecan Street

“I didn’t have a community to turn to and my community wasn’t accepting,” said Weingart.  “If I could have had something like “SanghaLink” maybe I would have had an opportunity to reach out to other gay people.”

Weingart said she had a lot of friends in high school, but once she announced she was gay she started to lose friends.  She said she stumbled into depression and even attempted suicide.

She hopes that SanghaLink will help prevent depression, suicide, homelessness, substance abuse and other issues in the LGBTQ youth.

The network is integrated in the school systems which eliminates predators or anyone else from accessing the program.  Students have to verify the school they go to and their student ID.

“It’s a safe place for students to talk to other students outside of Pflugerville because we are a small community if people want to reach out to other people,” said Gabi Guerrero, a Pflugerville High School Senior.

SanghaLink will host a focus group and meeting with the pilot students over the summer to talk about the website.  They expect 40 – 60 kids to participate in it.

 

 

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