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Youth Leader Iziaih Choquette Shares Leaders Who Inspire Their Work at Models of Pride

Every year, the Los Angeles LGBT Center presents an award to a youth leader at the Models of Pride youth summit. This year, Center alum Iziaih Choquette was presented with the honor for their limitless advocacy supporting queer youth experiencing homelessness.

“At first, I couldn’t comprehend why I would be given this award,” they said in their acceptance speech. “All I’ve done is care. All I’ve done is listen to what my peers say and offer support.”

Choquette was presented with the Youth Leader of Pride Award, which is given to an individual who stands out among their peers for their tireless commitment and desire to impact urgent and lasting change. Choquette’s work advocating for young folks experiencing homelessness has led them to serve on multiple youth advisory boards throughout Los Angeles and earned them an invite to speak on the steps of Sacramento’s capitol building, where they called for legislation to provide programs and assistance for the youth who need it most. 

“The way we continue to find love, joy, happiness, pride, and compassion inspire me to keep fighting with love.”

Youth Leader of Pride Award recipient Iziaih Choquette

“Not only do they give of themselves in this work, but they also have an incredible ability to inspire others to do the same,” said Models of Pride host and Emmy award winning social media star, Ruba Wilson.

“For me, leadership is just caring and giving guidance,” Choquette said. “My community is full of amazing, unique, colorful, joyous, and innovative souls that just need support and autonomy to decide their future for themselves. That’s my goal as a leader, to give everyone—regardless of their circumstances—the ability to achieve the future they see fit for themselves. Not just what a society that doesn’t even recognize their human experience tells them they deserve.”

“When I think of leaders in my life who inspire me, I think of my mom, who leads with her heart and the instinct to always care for others,” Choquette said. “She has had her mistakes, as we all do, and yet she uses them as a lesson to do better. And she helps others to do the same for themselves.”

They closed their remarks by addressing the LGBTQ+ youth in the room directly. “But all of you here—my peers, my friends, my family, all of you—have also inspired me,” they said. “The lives we live, the things we endure, and the way we continue to find love, joy, happiness, pride, and compassion inspire me to keep fighting with love.”

“All it takes to be a leader is to listen, care about what you heard, and act accordingly. Be the support you hope to receive, and you will know what it means to truly lead.”

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