Moving NYC Forward

June: Pride in the Workplace

Congratulations to the ABNY Young Professionals June Spotlight of the Month, Jayson “J.D.” Miller, Director, The New York Foundlingwho’s highlighted for their work leading initiatives to create inclusive and supportive work environments and communities for LGBTQIA+ individuals in New York City!

Jayson “J.D.” Miller, They/Them

The New York Foundling
How did you get to where you are today?

A mix of luck, opportunity and a lot of stubborn persistence. I continue to learn from those around me, speak out on any injustices that are seen, highlight the flaws in systems, work to make everything intersectional + accessible, and always propose solutions with new voices to include in the process to make lasting change happen.

What are you most proud of?

Creating the Identity & Acceptance Program at The New York Foundling. This program has become more than I ever imagined it to be, supporting hundreds of LGBTQIA+ youth ages 0-21 across NYC through free mental health services and accessible community events which are open to all families regardless of insurance or immigration status.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?

Look at every problem you encounter as a possibility; and then get creative in finding solutions. This program initially started just as a virtual LGBTQIA+ youth support group during the pandemic since I was not seeing the usual faces each week that would pop into my office to say hello on their way to other services. During the virtual group, numerous issues were brought forward that then pushed me to write a program proposal supported by additional research, and later developing integrated models to better fit the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth. Each time a new concern is identified, our team has been able to find creative ways to expand our services to meet the needs.

When did you realize that you are a New Yorker?

The pandemic really helped me feel solidified as a NY-er since I was able to see how our neighborhood and community banded together to support one another through mutual aid; and was the first time I was able to grow some deeper roots in Brooklyn with residing in the same space since 2019.

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