Youth Ambassadors for Queer History

Fall 2024-2025 | In-Person

Applications for our next cohort will open in August 2024.


“Learning about all the work Sapphic people have done during my experience as a Youth Ambassador has been extremely empowering and made me feel really proud of my community. It has added so much to my perspective of history, and has made me feel more connected to the past.”

– Sophie, High School Student, 2023 Youth Ambassador for Queer History

Through Youth Ambassadors for Queer History, One Institute mentors a core group of high school student leaders from across Los Angeles County to become ambassadors for LGBTQ+ history in their communities.

Programming includes LGBTQ+ history presentations; interactive workshops with scholars, activists, and artists; hands-on archival research in ONE Archives at the USC Libraries; and field trips to LGBTQ+ organizations in Los Angeles. The program activities guide each student to create a personal passion project that explores LGBTQ+ history. These projects are exhibited in a culminating celebration at ONE Gallery, West Hollywood, where local leaders and community members are invited to learn from the Youth Ambassadors. While developing academic skills, and affirming relationships with mentors and peers, our Youth Ambassadors also discover career paths in the LGBTQ+ humanities, social services, and advocacy.

See a glimpse into our 2023-2024 cohort’s projects— from male impersonation in early 20th-century American theater to lesbian publications in the 1960s and 1970s— by checking out this story from L.A. Blade. Check out our online exhibition you are here, featuring works from the 2019-2020 cohort of Youth Ambassadors.

Youth Ambassadors for Queer History begins meeting in September 2024 with a culminating exhibition in January 2025. Our virtual youth program, Youspeak Radio, launches in March 2023.

Our youth programs are led by Trevor Ladner, Education Programs Manager, a licensed California social studies teacher. To learn more, Trevor can be reached at


Thank you to our Youth Ambassadors for Queer History Program Founders, Rob Saltzman and Ed Pierce!

Rob and Ed have been strong supporters of LGBTQ organizations both locally and nationally. Rob and Ed met as students at Harvard Law School in the late 1970’s. They were together as a couple for 36 years from 1979 until Ed’s death in 2015 at age 63. Rob and Ed were legally married in California in 2008. Their lives together were focused on friends, family and children, combined with a lifelong passion for social justice and community service. In 2023, Rob joined One Institute’s Board of Directors. Read more about our Program Founders here.