On November 14 Time Out partnered with the Ali Forney Center for a career panel at their drop-in center in Harlem. The Center is notable for being the nation’s largest LGBTQ youth homeless shelter and supports some 1,400 young people per year by providing emergency housing, 24-hour health care service and tools for an independent lifestyle. Our Global Editor-in-Chief, Comedy & LGBTQ Editor and others from Time Out sat down with more than 20 of the Ali Forney Center’s residents to answer questions about what it's like to work in media and to share their experiences of breaking into the industry and what they learned from their earliest jobs.
“My first job taught me to be patient and understand that you have to start from the bottom,” said Melissa Hediger, a sales director at Time Out.
The panelists also received insights on what the residents experience day-to-day when trying to find work. “When I walk into an interview, I’m not judged for my experience," said one Ali Forney Center resident. "I’m judged for being black, homeless and part of the LGBTQ community."
RECOMMENDED: Where to volunteer in NYC
Uptown favorite Pio Pio and Eataly’s Manzo provided lunch for the career panel. Among other services, the drop-in center offers career development in partnership with LEAP, a city-run program devoted to educating and training the children of New York to be work-ready and prepared for life challenges that may arise. If you're interested in volunteering for the center, check out different opportunities here.