Ally Safe Schools program

Mazzoni Center’s Ally Safe Schools was launched in 1997 at the invitation of the School District of Philadelphia. The program works to create safer, more welcoming, and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth in city schools, as well as provides professional development and training for all school district staff in regard to creating a safe learning space for ALL students. 
Ally also provides technical assistance to staff and students in creating Gay/Straight Alliances (GSAs) in individual schools and coordinates a youth-led GSA network of more than 40 GSAs in high schools and middle schools throughout the region.  The GSA network provides beyond-school-hours opportunities for peer and adult support, leadership education and development, as well as positive social interaction through our monthly Citywide GSA meetings. 
We work with staff on building a deeper awareness of concepts related to sexual orientation and gender identity, identifying some of the primary challenges that LGBTQ youth might face in their schools and communities, and on developing strategies to combat homophobia and transphobia in their schools and programs.

All of our trainings are provided free of charge for Philadelphia schools and out-of-school time programs.  

To schedule a training, or to learn more, contact us.
Do you have a high school or middle school GSA in the greater Philadelphia area?  Register with us and become a part of our network!  Registered GSAs will receive: 5 Safe Schools posters, 25 Ally bookmarks and postcards, 10 Safe Zone door hangers for classrooms and offices, 25 Ally buttons and stickers, and will have access to our small but growing collection of DVDs!

Student Leadership Board

Through the Ally Program’s Student Leadership Board, a select group of student leaders are offered opportunities to provide feedback, direction, and voice to the future of Ally Safe School’s program. Students learn program and professional development skills, have individual mentorship time with the Coordinator, as well as developing their own workshops to be facilitated at the annual LEADership conference. 

Meet our team

Mazzoni Center LGBT health Philadelphia youth services
Youth Education Specialist
Sean Laughlin Street Smart
Street Smart Coordinator
Anthony Leon, Intervention Specialist
Youth Education Manager
Director of Prevention Services Eric Paulukonis
Director of Prevention Services
Youth Education Specialist