Live OUtside the box in an Internship

Dig deep and discover more about yourself through one of our internship programs. Once you’re an HMI member, you can apply.

Job Readiness
Get on-the-job training about communication, basic word processing, résumé writing, interviewing, and dressing for success through this internship program.

Stars of C.H.A.N.G.E. (Challenging Houses And Networks to Get Educated)
(Currently mid-cycle. Contact Erica for more information about next hiring dates)
An outreach and prevention paid leadership program geared toward empowering healthy choices on safer sex practices, anti-violence, and risk reduction for youth within the Kiki Ballroom scene. Interns serve as Junior staff at HMI, and responsibilities include facilitating Kiki Lounge, organizing Harm Reduction events, teaching safe sex workshops, creating social marketing campaigns, and disseminating safe sex materials and messaging throughout the community. For more information, contact Lazara Paz-Gonzalez.

MPowerment (M-BALL: Motivating Brothers & Advocating Love & Life)
M-Ball is a community-level HIV prevention intervention for young gay and bisexual men that has been adapted by HMI for MSM within the Ballroom scene. This program builds a strong, supportive community, where young gay and bisexual men nurture and protect each other, particularly with regard to HIV prevention. This project is run by a core group of 10-12 young men who design and carry out all project activities. For more information, contact Jermaine Ellis.

Expressive Arts
This internship is about finding new ways to express oneself and expand one's sense of self. Various arts are used such as movement, poetry, sound making and visual arts to connect with ourselves and others, creating a community where we feel comfortable to explore life in new ways. The group also focuses on exploring ways to problem solve through the use of the arts. For more information, contact Robin Snow.

Photography Program
A paid internship that introduces young people to photography and visual journalism, and to the uses of those media as tools for empowerment and HIV/STI prevention and education. During each class cycle, students document their lives, using photography to reflect on their communities, their peers and themselves, while learning techniques to creatively express their ideas and emotions through imagery. The assignments will lead up to each member of the group choosing a personal photography project, which he or she will pursue independently. For more information, contact Sam Box.

Women's Group
Women's Group is an inclusive, safe, and empowering space for women identified youth (including lesbian, bisexual, straight, women of trans experience). Women's Group meets to discuss issues and challenges our young women face as well as plan future events to congregate and network (like The Women's Forum, Women's Music Festival, Women's Week, self-defense classes). To request a copy of our most recent zine, HMI Women Speak, contact Erica Cardwell.

Peer Education
A paid, year-long internship. Peer Ed interns are trained to provide on-and off-site workshops about bullying, homophobia, diversity and oppression, human sexuality, gender identity, anatomy, sexual consent, safer sex, STIs, self-esteem, HIV/AIDS, healthy relationships, nutrition, and transphobia. Most of these workshops take place at schools and community based organizations thoughout the boroughs. In addition to facilitating workshops, interns participate in community outreach. For more information, contact Glenn Smulyan.

Street Smart
Street Smart is a HIV/AIDS and STD Prevention program that has been adapted by HMI for Trans youth in the feminine spectrum. This skill-building internship helps groups of young women reduce risky behaviors. Through roleplays, activities, and video productions, Street Smart covers important topics like HIV/AIDS, STDs, pregnancy preventon, coping, negotiating skills, personalized risk behaviors, and substance use. The program consists of eight group sessions, one individual counseling session, and one visit to a community-based For more information, contact Wendy Ledesma.

Youth Advisory Board (YAB)
Make the voices of fellow LGBTQ youth and HMI members heard in this paid internship. You will not only represent your peers and your unique challenges to the HMI Board of Directors, Program Managers, and Staff, but also bring the world of HMI into the community. Contact Bridget Hughes for more info.

HMI also has many groups open to LGBTQ young people:

Kiki Lounge
(Mondays &Wednesdays, 4-6pm)

A space to kiki, learn about and practice voguing and runway, receive community support around safety and prevention, and feel creatively empowered. As a part of the Kiki Scene, HMI holds a mini-ball the third Friday of every month, as well as the annual STARS Awards Ball, an event that brings together LGBTQ youth and young adult members of the ballroom network to celebrate their creativity while learning about prevention services. For more information, contact Lazara Paz-Gonzalez.

A supportive, confidential safe space for transgender women and their partners to discuss relationships, sex and community mobility. For more information, contact Octavia Lewis.

Be Proud! Be Responsible!
(A drop-in group during internship meetings in which non-interns are welcome to join. There's no application process, just show up ready to learn and have fun!)
A 3-session program where youth ages 13-21 learn about how to prevent STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancies. Groups include videos, games, and other fun activities intended to educate youth on every possible way to have a healthy sexual life. For more information, contact Bryson Rose.

Open Art Studio
(Mondays & Wednesdays, 4-7:15pm)
A safe and creative space to express yourself through fine art! Instruction and materials provided for painting, drawing, sculpting, collaging, paper mache, and many other media. For more information, contact Robin Snow.

Dance with Mariano
(Tuesdays & Fridays, 4-6pm)
Open dance group focusing on an array of dance styles from Modern, to Hip-Hop, to African. For more information, contact Mariano Martinez.

Supportive Services offers Counseling, Pantry & Dinner, Housing and Health Services, and additional groups open to LGBTQ youth
From the first moment a young person enters HMI, a Supportive Services counselor is there. Assessing the safety of each youth, the counselor offers assistance, from the basics of clothing, food, and housing help to interventions, counseling sessions based on individual needs, and referrals to LGBTQ-sensitive agencies. For as long as the youth is involved at HMI, Supportive Services (in conjunction with the Youth Services Department) will be a part of their care and their family. For more information, contact Matt Rofofsky.

Gender Benderz
(Coming Fall 2014)
Have you ever questioned your gender? Do you identify as transgender or gender non-conforming? Need a safe space to explore and celebrate your identity with other gender-variant youth? For more information, contact Allison Berwald.

HIV Infected/Affected Support Group
(Thursdays, 6-7:15)

An open group for anyone affected and/or infected. Open to everyone who has questions about, is living with, knows someone living with, wants to do something about HIV/AIDS. No enrollment and includes dinner. For more information, contact Aruna Krishnakumar.


But when the youth tell their own stories, they speak volumes:

  • "As I started coming to HMI my self-esteem went up and up because I was treated like a normal human being." - Jose
  • "At HMI nobody told me I couldn't be myself, nobody yelled at me. It was my sanctuary." - Jaszi
  • "My older brothers didn't graduate and it was an inspiration to me to be the first son to do that. Now I've graduated from Harvey Milk and I'm going on to college." - Jaszi
  • "HMI provided a space where I could be safe, comfortable, and not have to worry about whether people knew my 'secret.'" — David
  • "They helped me find a place to live; they helped me find a better way to live." - Arthur
  • "Talking with the staff people was the first time I felt comfortable about my sexuality and myself. I call this moment the opening of my closet, coming out to myself." - Rick

For Youth


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