GLSEN NJ Youth Advisory Council
The GLSEN NJ Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group comprised of young people, between the ages of 13-18, from across the state.
Identifying as either a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, these young leaders have worked to create this year's GSA Forum. From researching LGBTQ+ friendly resources to suggesting & contacting speakers to creating a social media platform to building the website you are currently viewing, the YAC has worked tirelessly to create an exciting, entertaining and educational event!
Tarun is a sophomore at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. He is a member of several advocacy based organizations. He is extremely proud to be leading this group of extraordinary human beings. He has been a part of planning two NJ GSA Forums and is helping to lead the charge on this years forum. He is incredibly impressed with the work these students were able to pull off. He is thrilled to work alongside these students as the Co-Chair of GLSEN New Jersey's Youth Advisory Council.
Swara Sanghvi is an 8th grader at Thomas Grover Middle School in the WWP district. Swara was introduced to the LGBTQ community in fifth grade, and, soon after, gained more interest. She then joined the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. Swara has always enjoyed being able to work with people and enjoys working with groups while being able to share her ideas. That is why she was also offered, and will be taking up, the president role of her school GSA. Other than that, she has been participating as an active member of the GSA for all of 6th and 7th grade. Swara also enjoys many different types of art mediums, whether it be painting, sketching, or writing. She has recently also found to have been working with and enjoying online art, and understanding how cartoon characters are made.
This is Ryan Lindner. She is a senior at Middletown Highschool South. She is a co-president at her school’s GSA, as well as an active member of her school’s Diversity Club. Some of her interests are Dungeons and Dragons, theater, writing, card games, video games, and classic literature. This is also her second year in a row of being apart of the Youth Advisory Council, and she is thrilled to be apart of it for her last year of high school.
Ben (they/them) is a non-binary, gay, and aromantic freshman. This is their first year with the YAC, but they are excited to be a part of it. They love writing, drawing, and music. They are also passionate about environmental and LGBTQ+ activism. They also enjoy learning about cultures and languages. They hope to one day be a lawyer or psychologist.
Zain Zaidi is an Honors and AP sophomore at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. He is an advocating member of several marginalized communities and is a part of several such activities, clubs, and organizations. He is incredibly honored to lead this inspired group of students to advance the place of the LGBTQ+ community in New Jersey and beyond through meaningful connections between educators, schools, and programmers. Zain has worked on the past 3 NJ GSA Forums and is one of two taking point on the Forum for 2021. He is incredibly humbled in doing so and is thrilled to be working as the Co-Chair of GLSEN New Jersey’s Youth Advisory Council.
Perri Polyviou is a senior at Middletown High School South. This is their second year as a member of the YAC, and they hope to continue their activist work in college. As the GSA co-president of their high school, Perri has fought for recognition and equality for all LGBTQ+ students in their community.
Daniel Liang is a sophomore at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. He is super passionate about his support for the LGBTQ+ community and loves volunteering, participating in fun events and doing extracurriculars and sports. Daniel is a part of his school's marching band as a colorguard member as well as the track throwing team. He is excited to see everyone at the forum!
Jayani is a 10th grader at Monroe Township Highschool. They are constantly advocating for many communities, especially the LGBTQ+ community, along with expressing they're personality through their artistic abilities. They want to join the United States Air Force and major in aeronautical engineering in college. They are also involved in sports such as swimming along with participating in multiple clubs that are involved with helping improve their school and the community outside of it. Jayani is incredibly grateful to be apart of the GLSEN Youth Advisory Council and is even more grateful to have met such incredible people throughout the course of organizing this forum.