ALSO Youth Recognition Awards

Sonia Figaredo-Alberts, executive director, Sarasota County Schools, with Randy Gardner, former U.S. world figure skating champion, and Jane Goodwin, chair of the Sarasota County School Board.

SARASOTA – Sarasota County Schools has been awarded the Community Partner of the Year award by ALSO Youth, an advocacy organization committed to empowering LGBTQ+ youth.

The district was honored for increasing awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in its schools, and helping students deal with related issues of body image, gender identity, bullying and suicide.

The district has also offered training and support in schools to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students, according to a district news release.

“ALSO Youth is proud of the relationship between our organization and Sarasota County Schools,” said Donna Hanley, interim director of ALSO Youth, in the news release. “This partnership has made the LGBTQ+ youth in our schools feel included and accepted by community and school leaders. We are delighted the school district has embraced this issue and promoted a spirit of inclusivity in its schools.”

School Board chairwoman Jane Goodwin said she was pleased that the district was selected to receive the distinction.

“The district works hard to ensure all students feel safe, respected and included in our schools,” she said. “This is a great testament to the dedication of our staff to support the needs of all our students.”

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