Amelia Roskin-Frazeel is a 14-year-old student in California who is like a lot of teenagers her age. She loves going online and she’s passionate about issues that are important to her – like LGBT rights. But what makes her unique compared to some of the peers her age is that she launched an education program that lets schools have access to LGBT books for free nationally.
The teen created the Make It Safe Project this year to make sure that LGBT resources are available – for free – in public and private school libraries for the students who need them the most. She told Bay Windows, “When I figured out that a lot of schools didn’t have any resources about what it means to be LGBT or how to come out, I decided I wanted to help send those books to schools.”
The ninth grader funds the project through a Pay Pal account where she accepts donations. Since she started the campaign last month, she’s already sent books to schools in Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Jersey and North Dakota, as well as her home state of California. One private school there even raised the money from parents who made donations to make sure the students had access to LGBT content without asking the school for the money. Another request came from an eighth grader who wanted to start a GSA at her school, much like Roskin-Frazeel did when she came out in middle school. Today, Roskin-Frazeel is a student ambassador for GLSEN.
Each package of books – which is sent direct from Amazon.com thanks to free shipping on orders of this size – is worth about $100, says Bay Windows. And while it’s hopeful that she will be able to solicit more funds, she’s accepting donations starting at just five dollars for the project. Some of the books include six fiction and four nonfiction books like Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden; Empress of the World by Sara Ryan; Luna by Julie Anne Peters; Boy Meets Boy by David Levithanp; Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown; It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller; GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel; Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens by Kathy Belge; and Like Me by country singer Chely Wright.
“My basic job is to ensure that regardless of where they go in the school, they are available to all students at any time,” she told the paper. “Both my parents were extremely supportive from the beginning.” Her mom even helps the teen with all the paperwork for the project – one she hopes will eventually send books to schools in all 50 states and – eventually – around the world.