The Eccles School is inclusive of people from all walks of life, all backgrounds and all lifestyles.

Recently we hosted a conversation about how to make sure LGBT young people — from homeless youths to seniors in college — are getting the support they need to overcome challenges they face in finding jobs, education and careers.

At the event, Sen. Jim Dabakis, Riverton Police Officer Liz Brown, Kara Cope, owner of Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue and Eccles School MBA Director Dave Harris appeared on a panel hosted by OUTreach Resource Centers and the Family Acceptance Project at the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building. They discussed the challenges facing LGBT youths, and began looking at ways to help young people overcome them.

“Too often Utah LGBT youth hear the lie that their options and opportunities for success are limited, but these LGBT business leaders have lived the truth that financial and personal success and fulfillment are not only possible, but happen every day in Utah,” said Rev. Marian Edmonds Allen, of OUTreach Resource Centers and the Family Acceptance Project. “Having role models and being aware of the resources and supports help to give these intelligent and motivated LGBT youth tools to achieve success in the world of business and in life.”

Here are three of the main ideas discussed at the panel:

Create a safe space. “If you can’t trust and be OK with the place that you’re at, how will you ever live your life?” Cope said.

Create mentoring relationships. Dabakis has had a business-mentoring relationship with a young man for several years, and it has helped both of them gain new perspectives, Dabakis said.

Create a tribe. The group discussed how various “tribes” around Salt Lake City look out for each other — from ethnic groups to religious groups to political groups — and decided it was important to create an LGBT “tribe” to help young people, particularly those who had little support at home. “We have to pick up that slack by banding together,” Cope said.

The group plans to reconvene in the coming months to discuss more ways to help.

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