Event Highlights

Tsunami Brunch Benefit for ALSO Youth

Our brunch benefit at Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi on Sunday, March 3rd was enjoyed by all! Our team worked closely with Jason, Jeffrey & Sam at Tsunami to host an amazing event celebrating our local LGBTQ+ youth community. The event included a sushi buffet, a testimony from an ALSO Youth attendee, and engaging ways to give.

Thank you to the team at Tsunami for making this event possible! We are grateful to all those who joined us for this important opportunity to celebrate our youth and support our mission. Our mission to empower LGBTQ+ youth and create more inclusive communities is not possible without you!

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2024 ALSO Youth Prom: Under the Sea

The 2024 ALSO Youth Prom was a memorable and inspiring night for LGBTQ+ youth ages 14-20 in our community. The event was held on February 3rd at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, where our team of staff and volunteers transformed the space into the ocean floor for youth to dance the night away! Attendees made corsages and boutonnieres courtesy of Selby Gardens, created friendship bracelets and painted seashells, participated in fun contests, and captured the moment at our photo booth!

We are so thankful to our community of sponsors including the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Hurlburt Family Foundation, Mary Tavarozzi and Deb Lansing, Spread Spencer's Sparkle, Nancy DeLong and David Jemison, and all of our other sponsors! Special thanks to our prom planning committee and volunteers, Sights & Sounds AV, Georgie Moore, Asolo Reparatory Theatre, Selby Botanical Gardens, Bradenton YMCA, DJ Joey D, Anna Molinari Salon, and many more!

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2023 Expressions Exhibition

ALSO Youth was proud to present the art showcase, “Expressions Exhibition” on Thursday September 7, 2023, at the Sarasota Opera House.

The Expressions Exhibition included a silent auction of local artists’ works which raised over $7,000 for the organization. Guests enjoyed live music, free lite bites, and a cash bar. Artwork in various mediums submitted by LGBTQ+ youth from Sarasota and Manatee County was showcased in celebration of their creative expressions. Youth and professional artists were present to talk about their work and share artistic inspiration.

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2023 Scholars Celebration

Our extensive services include annual scholarship awards to deserving youth who exhibit tenacity and resilience in their academic endeavors. The organization offers scholarships from two funds: The ALSO Youth Betsy Nelson Scholarship Fund in honor of one of the organization’s founders and the Greg Jung Memorial Scholarship Fund, specifically dedicated to students pursuing studies in education and in memory of accomplished educator, Greg Jung.

On Sunday, June 11th, Chef Christopher Covelli hosted an event honoring the six scholarship recipients selected by the ALSO Youth Scholarship Team. Chef Covelli is the husband of Greg Jung and held the event in his home, where scholarship winners and their families were celebrated for their academic accomplishments. The recipients of the awards come from various backgrounds but share pride in their identities within the LGBTQ+ community.

"It was amazing to see the kids and families interacting together in celebration of their accomplishments and with such excitement about their future,” said Executive Director, Dr. Becky McDonough.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the Sarasota-Manatee community. Because of their support and encouragement, these young people are able to stretch toward their goals and dreams.”

Anyone who would like to be a part of this impactful program and contribute to the scholarship funds for next year can find out more information on ALSO Youth’s website or call their office at (941) 951-2576. There is currently a $5,000 match offered for any donations made before 9/30/2023 toward the ALSO Youth Betsy Nelson Scholarship Fund.


ALSO Youth Annual Prom: Disco Party

The 2023 ALSO Youth Prom was a major success! The event was held on February 18th at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, where our team of staff and volunteers transformed the space into a disco party fit for grooving the night away! Attendees decorated vinyl records, made corsages and boutonnieres courtesy of Selby Gardens, took photos at the photo booth, participated in contests and so much more!

We are so thankful to our supporters that made the Prom possible, including the Hurlburt Foundation, the DeBartolo Family Foundation, Cindy Barnes of Sarasota Pride, our incredible prom planning committee and volunteers, Sights & Sounds AV, Georgie Moore, Selby Gardens, and many more!

Photos courtesy of Samantha Ponzillo Media.

Manatee County Youth Center Grand Opening

We are so grateful to each and every member of the community that attended the grand opening of our Manatee County youth center. It has been a tremendous joy for our team to celebrate this milestone vent alongside the community that has made this possible. We wish to give a special thanks to the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation for their continued support of ALSO Youth's mission. Additionally, thank you to Kind Cotton for donating a large number of LGBTQ+ young adult books toward our new Center!

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