Meet the 2012 Point Scholars
BY Advocate.com Editors
June 14 2012 8:43 AM ET
Wells Fargo Point Scholar
Finance and Marketing
Upon beginning her career in art and homeless outreach services, Adaobi Kanu learned of the disproportionate number of LGBT people who rely on shelter services or who live on the streets. She heard from countless LGBT homeless adults that their experience began with LGBT oppression in their teenage years. So Kanu soon began helping LGBT teens and their allies create inclusive school environments that would help youth feel safer. In this work, Kanu educated more than 1,600 students on ways to support LGBT justice. Along the way she met LGBT teens who had been kicked out of their homes due to familial homophobia, or could see the future in homelessness ahead of them, and wanted to do more to support homeless LGBT teens.
Kanu founded and now runs a nonprofit called Art in Motion, an arts organization that serves homeless teens and young adults. Art in Motion’s goal is to use art as a medium to give young people the personal development and educational tools that will help them stay out of homelessness. Through specialized partnerships with local high school gay-straight alliances and LGBT youth homeless shelters, Kanu and Art in Motion have empowered hundreds of LGBT teens to embark on a journey to confidently pursue their dreams. Kanu plans on using the skills she is acquiring in the pursuit of her MBA at Columbia Business School to focus on tactics for creating systemic and sustainable change for LGBT youth and other disenfranchised communities.
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