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Positively Nico

Join Chase and Nico, our Youth Leadership Development Intern, as they talk about how they got involved with Positive Images.


0:00 Welcome to Positively a podcast by positive images.

0:03 Today, we're interviewing Nico, one of our youth participants turned youth development leader

0:10 PI Theme Song with Airy Synths and a strong baseline

0:21 Hi.

0:22 My name is Chase Overholt and I'm the Director of development for positive images.

0:25 And today I am joined by Nico.

0:27 Oh my gosh.

0:28 Hi, how are you?

0:30 I'm doing great.

0:31 We're sitting here today in the center and we thought we'd record a quick podcast about how you came to be a part of the youth development leadership team and one of our interns.

0:39 Yes.

0:39 It is one of my favorite stories to tell.

0:41 Actually, I had heard about positive images all through high school just about queer prom that they had put on but not like anything else beyond that.

0:51 And it wasn't until I had graduated and it was COVID times and everyone's life was falling apart that I finally was like, hm, maybe I should go to P I.

1:07 So I actually met a couple people from P I at a memorial for shared grief that somebody in the community was putting together.

1:16 And that finally drove me to go to my first couple meetings.

1:20 It was just the adult support groups.

1:22 They were all online pretty much by that point.

1:26 And after that, I just was there every week,, popped out again after that for a couple of months, feeling just bad overall.

1:37 , and I think I had barely started coming to meetings again when I was, like, still newly not homeless and like, trying to figure out how to, like just live day to day.

1:52 , and then I was just having a, a very bad day and I knew that I couldn't be alone and I knew that the center was open.

2:02 And so I popped in and Jess our lovely director of programs.

2:07 -I love him so much- was the only person there.

2:11 And so he was like, thank God, like I have somebody to talk to now and we just kind of started talking about what was going on with me, Jess was like, well, we just had somebody leave having to leave our leadership development team.

2:26 And I was like, the what? she's like, oh, yeah, for our youth program, we also have our youth leadership program, which is for anyone from 12 to 24.

2:39 So she's like, you're, you're in that age range.

2:42 And I was like, yeah.

2:44 and what is the youth Leadership Development program?

2:45 That's such a good question.

2:47 So, it's a way for youth that wanna take on like a little bit more responsibility for a chance for them to step up.

2:55 So we meet before our support groups on Thursdays.

2:59 And then we also have like a debrief meeting the day after and we all together decide what goes on in the groups who's leading, what activities, what kind of themes and what we want to focus on.

3:13 So we now have all of these kids.

3:15 We've really stepped up for the last like three months.

3:19 We're really changing the program and I'm so excited they're taking on so much more responsibility and doing a lot more in person sessions.

3:25 Yes, we're now in person twice a month, if not three times for an extra fifth week.

3:32 So, yeah, if you're a youth come to the 2nd and 4th in person nights now, And if you really enjoy those and want more of certain activities to happen, then you get to make the decision.

3:47 So, now it's like, hey, what do we want to do more of?

3:50 And it's like we haven't done a karaoke in a while, like performance in a while.

3:53 Can we do like an open mic night?

3:55 And they're like, yes, let's figure out how we can do it when we can schedule the next one.

3:59 We're really hoping to this year, take maybe some of them to a leadership conference like the interns to go to last year.

4:09 Can you tell us a little bit about the Elevate Youth California (EYC)?

4:12 Yes, I am literally wearing the shirt right?

4:15 Now, even though I did not plan to be on a podcast today, It was incredible.

4:21 A whole bunch of, I think their age range was 14 to 26.

4:25 youth leaders who like, all got together and taught about advocacy and anti racism.

4:34 It was really cool to see these high schoolers from around the state, like talk about the progress that they've been making, like advocating for others in their community and just like how to be able to speak up.

4:47 There was a lot of different programs or workshops that they held.

4:50 I only got to go to three of them and my favorite was led by a high school group from I think Central Valley just it was advocacy one on one.

5:02 And I think it was probably the most, what was it?

5:07 It was the most impactful.

5:10 Yeah, it was definitely the most impactful workshop that I had been to in a long while.

5:16 And it was my first real opportunity to kind of see myself as part of a bigger thing than just P I because lately we've been reaching like so far into the community and I've just been seeing like how many more events that are going on that we're holding for more people of color, for more bilingual people.

5:38 Like we are expanding at like a huge rate.

5:41 And I'm like, oh, this is not where I thought this would go when I started working here, like a year and a half ago, two years ago almost.

5:50 I was like, I really like it.

5:51 I like what I'm able to do here.

5:53 I really appreciate having like, a set schedule and a set thing that was getting me to connect with people every week.

6:01 , because I just wasn't getting that connection anywhere else and I, like, I'll never forget this.

6:09 I think the first or second week when I had like, officially been hired, I was a grounder because we always like to open and close the meetings with a, a grounding and one of the kids damned me on Discord.

6:25 After like right after we close the meeting was like, hey, I'm having a panic attack.

6:30 Like, can you come help me?

6:31 Like the breathing was really helpful.

6:33 Like, how did you do that?

6:35 And so I ended up calling them and just like talking them through breathing and like, I, I just, I've thought about that moment a lot of just the first like real impact that I saw myself have on any of the kids that I've been working with and now just seeing like how confident they're getting when they're here and how they're excited to take on new stuff here.

7:07 And just, I got I got a Happy Father's Day message from the same kid.

7:14 Yes, sorry, everybody.

7:16 I do have a favorite, but I was forcibly adopted as a father.

7:20 Do you blame me.

7:23 But that's incredible.

7:25 So, OK, few questions about your work at P I one.

7:28 What's your favorite part about working at P I or just your favorite part about P I in general?

7:34 I think it's just like the little conversations that I get to have day to day whenever I'm here because I didn't realize that that was something that I was like, deeply missing in my life is just the easy, almost nothing exchanges that you get to have with people that you care about.

7:55 And just knowing that like whenever I walk into a PI space, there's always going to be somebody I know there and not only that but somebody that's going to say, hey, go, hey chase and it is really lovely.

8:07 I, I literally can never work anywhere else now.

8:13 Speaking of that was gonna be my next question for you.

8:16 So you are very young and you've got a whole life ahead of you.

8:21 What would your dream job be?

8:25 Oh gosh, this has changed a lot over the years.

8:33 And I think I've settled on the facts that I kind of am in a place of my dream job.

8:43 Like, I don't know, it's, it's like, I don't know like what else I would be doing.

8:50 It's I get to go at a pace where I know if I need more rest or I need to take a step back.

8:57 I'm able to do that here, but I'm also able to like, push things that I'm excited for.

9:02 Like, I really want to get a silent disco going.

9:05 I'm putting it in the parking lot.

9:07 I want to do versions of games that I like watch on game changer.

9:11 I wanna do that for our kids and also we can bring that to the adults.

9:15 Like I'm getting to create and run games.

9:20 , and then that I very much have become exactly what I needed when I was these kids ages.

9:31 That's really beautiful.

9:33 It's I cry sometimes about it because I just didn't have a space where I, not necessarily where I felt that I was stifled in my queerness and trans because I didn't know that I was trans and I also like had queer friends, but I guess I just didn't have a space where I could express myself in just any way.

10:00 Like ill, I'll notice, I'm like, wow, I love encouraging these kids to talk about whatever they're interested at the time.

10:08 And I love, like, gently telling them that something was not cool and not yelling at them.

10:14 Like I love that.

10:15 I just, I know for me, I think frequently, like if I had a role model like Kimi or Jess or Nico or Crimson or Joy or Marian when I was the age that some of these kiddos are, I would be the president right now.

10:31 I fully believe it.

10:33 Anyway, Nico, thank you so much for sharing your story.

10:36 You're so welcome.

10:37 I loved doing it.

10:38 Any final thoughts for the pod.

10:43 The most important thing about being alive is being alive with people.

10:52 And when you find the right people to be around and to be alive with, they make the being alive much easier.

11:01 And so I think the most important thing in life is to find your people, find your crowd.

11:08 Yeah.

11:09 And what would you say to any queer person in our area that hasn't experienced P I yet?

11:14 Please come like, come check us out.

11:17 And I literally ran to the grocery store that I had just been at on Tuesday to give the cashier that saw me like a postcard of us and be like, please come because they were new to the area and they were like queer and I'm like, please just because I want everybody to be able to find community like I have.

11:37 So please come join us.

11:39 And if one of our events isn't for you, we have different ones.

11:42 So try us a couple of times.

11:45 That's beautiful.

11:46 Thanks so much, Nico.

11:47 Thank you.

11:47 Chase a good one.

11:51 The future of positive images is looking bright and we hope that you'll join us along our journey.

11:56 You can check out our website, pause images dot org.

11:59 That's P OS images dot org and see our community calendar for fun things coming up in community and opportunities to join our peer support groups.

12:08 You can also drop into the center any time from noon to five Tuesday through Friday and noon to three on Saturdays, we would love to see you there.

12:17 Don't forget to follow us on Instagram at positive images to stay up to date with the absolute latest.

12:23 Until next time I have been Chase overhaul director of development for positive images and this has been positively

12:28 Positive images Theme Song

12:43 What you're still here?

12:44 That must mean that you really love us.

12:47 If you are willing and able, you can always support positive images by making a donation.

12:52 Did you know that by making a donation of only $5 a month, you help us out immensely.

12:58 We're using this money to continue to support the LGBTQIA2S+ community right here in Sonoma County.

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