Published: June 9, 2022 By

Bre Donnelly in from of the mobile health clinicMeet Bre Donnelly (all pronouns), Founder and Executive Director of Joy as Resistance, offering mental health counseling to LGBTQIA2+ youth in Colorado.

Bre was born in Colorado and grew up near Denver. They enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013, where they double-majored in psychology and communication. While attending, Bre was involved in the CU Boulder community by working in a cognitive psychology lab and playing for the women’s rugby team. After only two years, Bre graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from CU Boulder in 2015 before starting their graduate program at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. By 2017, Bre completed their studies and started their career as a middle school social worker.

Bre worked as a middle school social worker in Denver for three years. During this time, they identified significant gaps in queer-inclusive school policies and mental health support for LGBTQIA2+ youth. To help address these issues, Bre conducted a series of pilot initiatives, surveying queer students and adults in Colorado. This information directly informed Joy as Resistance's current programs and practices.

In honor of Pride Month, Bre comments,

“Queer joy is a foundational pillar of Joy as Resistance, and you can be an effective ally and supporter by always showing up alongside us in our joy. It’s important to support and honor queer joy and queer youth this Pride Month and every month.”

This Pride Month, consider donating to Joy as Resistance to support more of Colorado’s queer youth. Bre would also like to remind everyone of the importance of shopping local and supporting LGBTQIA2+ creators when purchasing items to celebrate Pride Month. Need help finding Boulder LGBTQIA2+ companies? Check out the Colorado LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce Boulder County website!

About Joy as Resistance

the Joy as Resistance team with their mobile health clinicJoy as Resistance was founded in early 2020 with the vision to create a world where LGBTQIA2+ youth feel essential, celebrated, and empowered to live their authentic lives. Its mission is to radically increase inclusive, supportive spaces and communities for queer youth.

Thanks to Bre, Joy as Resistance’s services are tailored to fit the specific needs identified by youth throughout their pilot initiatives conducted prior to the organization’s founding. Joy as Resistance offers the following programs and services:

Mental Health Counseling: One-on-one therapy, group counseling services, and family consultation for supportive allies, friends, and family members of queer youth ages 10-24.

Joyride: A traveling mobile health clinic and counseling space that meets clients around the Denver Metropolitan area in their communities. The Joy as Resistance team identified a transportation barrier for youths and created Joyride as a solution to bring mental health services directly to them.

Big Queer, Little Queer Mentorship: Inspired by the youth they serve, this personalized, community-based matching process pairs LGBTQIA2+ youth with adults who share similar interests and identities. This program increases access to resources for LGBTQIA2+ youth while promoting joy and connection. Joy as Resistance is currently accepting applications for mentors and mentees!

School and Non-Profit Partnerships: Educators and youth-serving professionals can receive professional development support relating to GSA (Gender-Sexuality Alliance) Club start-up and ongoing support, crisis and non-crisis consultations, and training on inclusive policies and practices.

Youth Advisory Board: Provides queer youth ages 12-24 with an opportunity to share their needs and values, develop new activism skills, and connect with amazing advisors across Colorado. Applications to become a Youth Advisor are open now!

Celebrate Pride Month with Joy

buttons with pronoun preferencesThis Pride Month, Joy as Resistance encourages everyone to turn any social event they would like into a Joyraiser.

A Joyraiser is a social gathering hosted by a supporter of Joy as Resistance, with the specific purpose of raising money for the organization. They serve as a way to spread more joy throughout communities. Additionally, Joyraisers offer space for supporters to share why Joy as Resistance is important to them and the world.

Joy as Resistance is happy to provide support to those interested in hosting a Joyraiser. For more information on how to host a Joyraiser, visit the Joy as Resistance website.

If you can’t host a Joyraiser, the Joy as Resistance team encourages you to consider passing along their Joyraiser information to other community members hosting Pride Month celebrations.

Upcoming Projects and Events

In less than two years, the Joy as Resistance team has grown from one to six staff and seven board members, with dozens of other community supporters along the way! They are currently expanding their clinical services, and they are actively seeking a Clinical Operations Manager to support this expansion. If you or someone you know is fully licensed to provide mental health services in Colorado and a passion for working with queer communities, check out the Clinical Operations Manager application!

The Joy as Resistance team will be celebrating Pride Month with their Denver community at Number 38 for the HipChicksOut Annual Pride Month Party on Saturday, June 25th from 2:00 - 10:00 PM. Join the Joy as Resistance team at Number 38 for live music, sand volleyball tournament, local DJ’s and artists, craft cocktails, local brews, and special guest appearance by Colorado State House Representative Leslie Herod! Tickets are selling fast, so grab yours now! A portion of ticket sales benefit queer youth at Joy as Resistance.

To keep up with Joy as Resistance's other upcoming events, check out their Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and sign up for their newsletter!

Advice for Current Students

Bre provides the following advice for current students and aspiring entrepreneurs,

“Get as comfortable with change as you possibly can. I’m learning over and over that change is going to happen, and the more you can be okay with that, the easier your job will be.”

Joy as Resistance Team

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