The PwC Charitable Foundation has made a historic investment in saving LGBTQ youth.
The foundation arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers will invest $6 million in the Trevor Project over the next four years, with an end goal of ending the suicide crisis facing this community.
More than 1.8 million LGBTQ young people consider taking their own lives each year, according to a report released this year by Trevor. And this grant will be used to expand Trevor's lifesaving services through technology.
The expansions include the creation of a management system to recruit, train, and retain its network of thousands of volunteers, as well as the implementation of artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of Trevor's services.
The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, transgender, bisexual, gay, queer, and questioning young people. The group offers a number of volunteer opportunities for adults, such as its 24/7 TrevorLifeline (866-488-7386), TrevorChat, and TrevorText programs, which offer young people feeling suicidal an avenue to talk.
With this new grant, the two organizations aim to multiply the Trevor Project's total number of volunteers by 10. To this end, the new management system will be used in "reviewing thousands of applicants and selecting successful candidates to move forward; facilitating 40 hours of remote and in-person training around LGBTQ topics and suicide prevention; completing a variety of role-play exercises to prepare them to interact with youth in crisis; scheduling and deploying 24/7 counselor shifts across the organization’s free, confidential, and 24/7 phone lifeline, text, and chat counseling services; and ongoing volunteer retention strategies," according to a statement sent to media.
In addition to the $6 million grant, the PwC Foundation will provide $2 million in pro bono consulting services tied to the implementation of this technology.
“Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers,” said Yolanda Seals-Coffield, the PwC Foundation's president. “Many are longing for a person to reach out to so we know how important it is to step up and invest in Trevor’s lifesaving work.”
"Volunteer crisis counselors are at the heart of the Trevor Project, and innovative technologies will allow us to recruit, train, and support thousands more volunteers to continue providing best-in-class care to every LGBTQ young person who feels hopeless, alone, or suicidal," said Amit Paley, the Trevor Project's CEO and executive director.
"We're grateful to the PwC Foundation for making a bold investment in our mission to end suicide among LGBTQ youth. With their deep expertise and resources, this collaboration can make a significant impact on the public health crisis of LGBTQ youth suicide."
Seals-Coffield and Shannon Schuyler, PwC US's chief purpose and inclusion officer, announced the historic gift Sunday at TrevorLIVE Los Angeles 2019. The PwC Foundation was one of the honorees of the evening, receiving the organization's 20/20 Visionary Award for its support of marginalized communities.
Cybill Shepherd and Hayley Kiyoko were also honored at the fundraiser, with stars like Heidi Klum, Jesse Williams, Samira Wiley, Jane Lynch, Debby Ryan, and Lance Bass attending in support of Trevor and LGBTQ young people.