Long Island LGBT group announces college, career help program for youth

BRENTWOOD, Long Island (WABC) -- Long Island's LGBT Network announced Tuesday a program aimed at helping LGBT high school students apply to college or pursue a profession.

David Kilmnick, the network's CEO, said many LGBT youth drop out of high school due to bullying and other societal pressures.

"It's about really making sure that no matter what our students are facing in school, there's a pathway to pride, there's a pathway to a future and there's a pathway to where you'll be able to do whatever you want to do," Kilmnick said.

The Pathways to Pride program will connect high school students with advisers who will help them apply to college, secure internships or career opportunities and teach them about financial literacy.

The program will be offered at the network's community centers and through the gay-straight alliance student clubs at local schools.

Brentwood High School student Oliver Chavez said the program is a good step in helping LGBT young people accomplish their dreams.

"I want to live in a world that you don't have to come out anymore," Chavez said. "And that we can just be accepted for who we are."

Kilmnick announced the program Tuesday at Stony Brook University during the network's annual LGBT conference. More than 600 students attended, which was the highest attendance in the conference's 23-year run.

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