YOUTH OUTRight WNC – Meet our New Directors!
We’re pleased to announce our new Co-Directors Cynde Allen and Adrian Parra!!!
Cynde was born in Western North Carolina, identifies as multiracial and uses she/her pronouns. Cynde is a licensed K-12 Special Educator with additional licensure in teaching English Language Learners, as well as concentrations in Art Therapy and Child Psychology. She has worked in many capacities throughout her career as an educator, social worker with focus on substance abuse and youth homelessness, teaching artist, camp counselor, clinical herbalist, as well as licensed massage and body work therapist. The last decade of Cynde’s career has centered in working with non-profits through case management for child and family services as well as public school education at the middle school and high school levels.
Cynde began working with Youth OUTright in 2017 but has several years of experience supporting youth that participate in YO programming through her work as a teacher and social worker in WNC, and is excited to continue working to increase accessibility of Youth OUTright programming to the many under-served populations in Asheville and its surrounding areas. She is excited to continue to develop strategic relationships, dialogues, and partnerships in our community to pool resources for LGBTIA+ youth. Cynde is committed to continuing to uplift the youth of our community to focus on equity, social justice and personal responsibility, sustainable life skills, self-awareness, and resiliency.
Adrian grew up in southern California, is latinx and non-binary, defaults to he/him/his, but uses fluid pronouns. He studied fine art photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Since school he has worked in a variety of fields from freelance photography and design, to curriculum development for Galileo Summer Quest’s day camp program.
Beyond his work on his own art and youth development, Adrian has also been a part of a number of housing cooperatives, art collectives and collaborative projects. Working in collaboration with the community and pooling resources to support each other and facilitate growth in the scale and impact of the work has always been a focus for Adrian and he has brought that collaborative open working style to Youth OUTright.
He started volunteering with Youth OUTright in the beginning of 2017, then late that summer developed a 6 week photography workshop for the youth, and presented that work as a part of YO’s annual fundraiser Young Voices. For him, “Empowering the youth to express themselves, and watching them run with it, is the most rewarding part of the job.”
Adrian is committed to his role at Co-Director and looks forward to empowering the LGBTQIA+ youth of WNC, cultivating a culture of consent, equity and compassion, facilitating intergenerational dialogue, developing life skills, creating space for self-expression and promoting self-care and wellness.
Our mailing address is:
Asheville, NC 28802