Students, vendors and volunteers participate in the 2023 Youth Pride Conference sponsored by GLSEN Collier County on Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Naples.

What is the SHINE Team?

GLSEN Collier’s SHINE Team is a group of student leaders seeking to develop their own personal skills while advocating for their LGBTQ+ peers in our community. This free year-long program for high school students (grades 9-12) runs from August to May with a celebratory banquet in early June. The team meets twice each month throughout the school year (once in person and once virtually). Each student must also attend our Fall Intensive and Spring Planning (six hours on one Saturday each semester).

As part of the program, students will receive leadership and advocacy training with many opportunities to practice through hands-on experience. Members will each select their own student-initiated project, and as a team we will also plan and host our annual Youth Pride Conference.

SHINE Team logo

The SHINE Team's objective is to:

  • Develop personal leadership skills through training and hands-on experience;
  • Build crucial skills like community organizing, public speaking, networking, fundraising, organizational management, project management, accountability, and responsibility;
  • Advocate for safer, supportive, and more inclusive spaces for their LGBTQ+ peers in Collier County;
  • Empower LGBTQ+ and allied students to advocate for themselves and others;
  • Advance racial, gender, and disability justice in our educational systems;
  • Build digital connections to extend our reach and
  • Spread queer joy and hope throughout our community.

Youth Pride Conference is organized by the SHINE Team

The 2023-24 SHINE Team

Annabel (any), 12th - Chairperson
Asher (he/him or she/her), 12th - Engagement Director
Moxx (they/them), 11th - third-year member
Kayak (he/they), 12th - second-year member
Rebecca (they/them), 12th - member
Gabe (they/them), 11th - member
Jack (he/him), 11th - member

“The SHINE Team I was a part of was quite diverse, with many different identities and experiences, but most importantly, different ideas. Learning to work with different views is so important for life. By giving queer youth strong leadership skills, there will be more diversity in the leadership of many different institutions, and our voices and ideas will be heard in many important decisions."

Kieran (they/them), 19 years old

“SHINE Team Collier has completely changed my life and exposed me to opportunities that would give me the space to make actual change in my local world—something I could never have imagined. This is the place where I feel the proudest of my activism and contributions because it is so easy to see the actual effects of our work on the community.”

Via (she/her), 18 years old

Colored pencils arranged in a circle.

How Do I Apply?

Potential SHINE leaders must be high school students (Grades 9-12) within Collier County. Students can be enrolled as a student in any of public, private, homeschool, or a dual-enrollment program. Potential SHINE Leaders should expect to dedicate approximately 10-15 hours each month to the SHINE Team participating in in-person and virtual meetings, events, and other tasks and responsibilities.

And most importantly, potential SHINE Leaders should be open and eager to learn and grow in an affirming community of peers. If this sounds like you, we hope you'll apply - we are always accepting applications! Simply fill it out and wait for instructions on scheduling your 30-minute Zoom interview.