Discover Out Loud mentoring provides vocational and emotional support to LGBTQ youth working towards a future in the arts (film, dance, theatre, or music) with one-to-one or online mentoring. Our mentors help our young creative people feel empowered and positive within their own sexual orientation and gender identity as well as their career choice. You can give the invaluable gift of your friendship and guidance to one of our mentees. By just being you, living out and proud, you can literally start changing their lives. But don’t take it from us. Become a mentor to a young person that shares your passion for the arts and watch them light up. Discover Out Loud is a one-of-a-kind experience and the only program in the United States that solely works with young, creative LGBTQ people.

There’s a population of just over three million LGBTQ youth in the United States today. Research shows that 89% of those youth have never had a formal mentor and 37% have never had a mentor of any kind. Typical youth mentoring programs tend to be unwelcoming of LGBTQ youth so there’s an urgent need for programs like Discover Out Loud, where youth are matched with LGBTQ mentors.

Discover Out Loud is a community-based mentoring program that empowers high school and college students to succeed in school and achieve their life ambitions. We partner with public and private schools to find these talented and deserving youth. Students work with their mentors one-to-one or online to develop strong personal and professional relationships, nurture career aspirations, and build critical skills that lead to future success.

Want to be a mentor?

Our mentors are vetted through a multi-step process including a federal and local background check before getting involved with our youth. You are also required to:

+ Complete an application and provide proof of employment and experience in your profession.
+ Provide professional and personal references that can attest to your employment, experience, and character.
+ Participate in our mentor training.

In order to be eligible to volunteer as a mentor with Arts Out Loud, you must:

+ Minimum of High School diploma.
+ Have a minimum of 5 years’ experience.
+ Be at least 25 years of age.
+ Live or work in Los Angeles or Pittsburgh areas.
+ Be able to attend an Arts Out Loud check-in event once a month through an online platform.
+ Have reliable and consistent access to the Internet.
+ Utilize your own talents to help mentees foster their own.
+ Commit to a minimum of 1-year match relationship.

For questions about your eligibility, contact us.

All volunteers must complete an application. We use this information to:

+ Make the best possible match between you and your mentee.
+ Conduct necessary screening, including reference and criminal background checks.

Once you have completed the application, Arts Out Loud begins the screening process. Because a mentor holds a position of trust and responsibility, we must:

+ Conduct background checks through local and federal government agencies.
+ Conduct a mentor phone interview.
+ Conduct an in-person interview.
+ Conduct personal and professional reference checks.

All mentors must attend a two-hour online training before being matched with a student.
The Arts Out Loud training session is an interactive workshop that empowers volunteers by giving them the tools and resources to be great mentors. During this session, mentors will learn about and discuss:

+ Arts Out Loud’s background.
+ Who our mentees are.
+ The Discover Out Loud program model (which includes weekly emails and monthly meetings).
+ Staff support is available to mentors.
+ Resources available to mentors.
+ Mentoring strategies.

If you’re interested in mentoring one of our youth and meet the requirements, please complete our application to get started!

Mentor Application

Want to be a mentee?

Discover Out Loud is an annual program that helps students grow professionally and personally by matching them with a mentor in their field of study. Together, mentoring pairs discuss the goals of the students and help with career exploration, networking, and professional and personal skill building.

During the months of the program, mentors and students determine how often they will connect and the different types of activities or events in which they will participate. We ask mentors and students to connect at least once per month either by email, in-person, or Skype. Discover Out Loud is available year-round to connect as many students and mentors as possible at the most convenient time for the student.

Our mentors are working professionals in all areas of film, theatre, dance and music. They commit to being a mentor for at least one year and are thoroughly vetted before we accept them into the program.

If you’re ready to take the next step to give yourself an edge, check out the mentee application packet. This packet contains all the forms and information we need from you, the student, to get started.

Mentee Application Packet

Questions about the forms or program may be sent to: