Dexter has overcome many traumatic experiences of violence, victimization, housing insecurity, oppression, and discrimination related to his gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. Despite this adversity, he acts as a mentor to other LGBTQIA+ youth. Dexter brings folks together through art and discussion, and he is passionate about social justice issues. He has been a long-time Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) youth and joined their Rapid Re-Housing Program this June. Dexter is currently a member of TRUTH, a youth-led program for trans and gender nonconforming young people to build public understanding, empathy, and a movement for liberation through storytelling and media organizing. He also serves on the National Trans Youth Council and KYC’s Community Advisory Board. Dexter is currently working a full-time job he is excelling in. Dexter is a role model, leader, and advocate for youth who have experienced significant life challenges related to race, gender, and sexuality.
Katelynn has overcome many challenges and barriers in her life that would have made others give up and settle; however, she has created her own circumstances. She had multiple placements when she was younger, experienced various levels of trauma, dropped out of school at 16, and lost her mother as a teenager. When Katelynn first came to Huck House in 2017, she had been staying in the family shelter with her three-month-old son for two months and was seeking stable housing. Throughout her time in the Transitional Living Program at Huck House, she has actively engaged in programming and took advantage of opportunities as they were presented to her in order to reach her goals. She received her GED and is now enrolled at Columbus State Community College utilizing the McNamara Scholarship that she was awarded by the Huckleberry House Board of Trustees.
She had setbacks but came back stronger and more determined than before. She successfully completed the program in April 2019 when she moved into her own housing. She wants to complete school to become a social worker. Katelynn is most proud of how her parenting abilities have improved since she started the Transitional Living Program. She is highly motivated to reach her goals in order to create a better life for her son and herself.