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Our Omaha Chapter

Who We Are

GLSEN Omaha is the Omaha, Nebraska based chapter of GLSEN, Inc. The mission of GLSEN Omaha is to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.

We primarily serve the area within an hour of the Omaha metropolitan area, including Council Bluffs, IA, but provide services and support throughout the state of Nebraska.

We strive to protect students from bullying and harassment, to advance comprehensive safe schools laws and policies, to empower principals to make their schools safer and to build the skills of educators to teach respect for all people. We work closely with the national staff of GLSEN to implement programs and affect positive change in school communities.

Our Leadership

From the Board of Directors to program coordinators to committees, GLSEN Omaha is a completely volunteer-run organization

Sam Carwyn - Co-ChairSam Carwyn, Co-Chair: (She/Her/Hers) Sam spent ten years in the human services before going back to school so she could be a classroom teacher. Sam earned a Bachelor’s in Child, Youth,​ & Family Studies with a minor in Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She also possesses a Master’s of Arts in Teaching with an endorsement in ​K​-12 Special Education and Social Studies for grades 4-9.  Sam is committed to her faith, and is employed at Metropolitan Community Church a Christian church with a foundation of inclusion of LGBTQ individuals and focus on ​social ​justice. For her full-time job she engages with community members to address risk factors that increase teen pregnancy, educates on various sexual health topics, and promotes LGBTQ inclusion in sexual health education.

Her steadfast belief that school should be a safe space for all students to learn and be their authentic selves led her to volunteer with GLSEN Omaha.  Sam for five years​ serve​d​ ​as Coordinator of the chapter’s professional development programming “GO ED!”  which supports youth serving professional usually educators to making environments safe for students in K-12th grade. Sam has served in a variety of capacities for GLSEN Omaha as Secretary, Vice Chair, and Board Chair. 

 

Andrew Aleman - Co-ChairAndrew Aleman, Co-Chair: Andrew (He/Him/His) joined GLSEN Omaha in 2016, and currently serves as the Board Treasure. He holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Social Work from the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Andrew has spent the last several years working with youth & young adults in various settings, including childcare, inpatient facilities, transitional homes, universities, and therapeutic settings. In addition to working as a clinical social worker, he  serves as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Investigator at UNO. Andrew is a member of the UNO Safe Space Committee, conducting campus wide Safe Space trainings and facilitates a group for queer & trans students of color. Andrew is extremely passionate about supporting queer & trans youth in all settings. He has had his own experiences as a young, queer, Black/Cuban person. His goal is to help create spaces where all young people, especially queer & trans youth of color, feel safe and supported. 

Alyssa WattsAlyssa Watts: (They/Them/Theirs) is a sex educator at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. They have been involved with GLSEN organizing, providing resources and presenting at the annual youth summit, Corn This Way, since 2016 and joined the Board in October 2017. As someone who was once an LGBTQ+ young person and has worked with youth throughout their career, Alyssa is passionate about students having safe spaces to learn and grow.

Alyssa has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where they studied systems of oppression. Since then they have been educating both in and out of the classroom. They currently do a number of youth, young adult and professional development programs that focus on the intersection of gender/sexuality and sexual health. Outside of work Alyssa enjoys knitting, writing, nerd stuff and spending time with their family. Their current passion topics include reproductive justice, prison abolition/reform, and healthy LGBTQ+ relationships.

Coralie EilersCoralie Eilers: (She/Her/Hers) Coralie is a second year medical student at Creighton University School of Medicine. She helped found Medicine Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a club aimed at serving LGBTQIA doctors, patients, and medical students. MED-GSA was established to create a safe space for LGBTQIA individuals and to help educate others about LGBTQIA terminology and inclusivity. This inspired her to volunteer with GLSEN so she could not only help people in the medical profession, but students of all ages as well. Coralie earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Loyola Marymount University in 2010. She moved to Omaha in 2015 to pursue her medical degree from Creighton.

 

Ang Bennett: (no defining pronouns) Ang joined the GLSEN Omaha board in June 2018. As an agender, queer person of color, Ang has observed the lack of representation of these identities when it comes to serving queer and trans youth in the community. Ang has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for youth in the foster care system since November 2015. Youth in the foster care system are not always able to disclose their LGBTQ+ identities, making it difficult to effectively advocate for them as a CASA. Due to this, and lack of visibility, Ang sought out additional opportunities to serve queer and trans youth, which led to GLSEN.  Along with advocacy work, Ang leads Youth Outreach with Benson First Friday (BFF) a local arts non-profit, and is a co-collaborator of the Nasty Artist Collective, a group of local artists seeking social change through the arts. Ang’s time outside of arts and advocacy is spent being a full-time cat parent and bookworm.