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San Diego high-school junior Edward Estrada gets Student Advocate of the Year Award

Edward Estrada seen here with Councilmember Todd Gloria in September 2016.
Photo credit:
Edward Estrada - Facebook

LOS ANGELES (October 4, 2016) – GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, will honor San Diego high-school junior Edward Estrada with the Student Advocate of the Year Award and Target with the Champion Award at GLSEN’s Respect Awards – Los Angeles to be held Friday, October 21, at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills.

Estrada and Target join Editorial Director of Time Inc.’s Celebrity, Entertainment and Style Group Jess Cagle and YouTube star Connor Franta as honorees for the event. 

The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, individuals and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

“At GLSEN’s Respect Awards, we recognize a diverse group committed to advancing respect and equality in their communities,” said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard.

"Estrada engages in so many ways at so many levels – through his GSA, the school district and GLSEN’s San Diego chapter – and illustrates the power in taking action to secure a better future.

"We are also delighted to recognize Target, an exemplary partner and corporate citizen whose dedication to protecting LGBTQ people and making everyone welcome in their stores, even in the face of pushback, is unparalleled.” 

A junior at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, Estrada will be recognized as GLSEN’s Student Advocate of the Year for championing LGBTQ issues in San Diego. Currently, he is serving as the LGBTQ Deputy Field Organizer for a congressional campaign for a pro-LGBTQ candidate.

Also, as the President of his school’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and as a member of the LGBTQIA Advisory Committee in the San Diego Unified School District, he is spearheading the implementation of multi-stall, gender-inclusive restrooms and LGBT-inclusive curriculum.

GLSEN's Student Advocate of the Year Award honors an outstanding young person who has helped create a safe and affirming learning environment for all students and has served as a voice of change in their school and community.

GLSEN also acknowledges the following students as part of this year’s Student Advocate of the Year Honor Roll: 

  • Relle Goan, a senior at Rancho Buena Vista High School, Vista, Calif.; and
  • Savannah Green, a junior at Gardiner Area High School, Gardiner, Maine;
  • Amos Koffa, a senior at Burlington County Institute of Technology, Medford, N.J.; and
  • Evie Priestman, a senior at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

Target will receive the Champion Award for their longstanding commitment to LGBTQ people and partnership with GLSEN.

An exemplar of corporate social responsibility, Target has created and upheld policies that require the equal treatment of transgender people in their company and stores.

Even through a shift in charitable focus, Target has expanded its support for GLSEN’s work over the course of several years, changing the lives of millions of youth.

GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990.

Through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, student leadership and educator training, community organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work with the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and national programs like GLSEN’s Day of Silence,GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week, and GLSEN’s Ally Week.

Previous GLSEN Respect Awards honorees have included Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel; Zachary Quinto; Julia Roberts and Danny Moder; Derek Hough; Matthew Morrison; NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt; Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg; Bob and Harvey Weinstein; former NBA player Jason Collins; Darren Star; Shonda Rhimes; Michele and Rob Reiner; Andrew Tobias; John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley; NBA executive Rick Welts; the National Education Association; Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak; Simon Halls and Matt Bomer; MTV; Disney-ABC Television; Johnson & Johnson; and HBO, as well as student leaders and educators from around the country.

Honorary co-chairs for the event include Julia Roberts and Danny Moder, Matt Bomer and Simon Halls, Bob Greenblatt, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chris McMillan, and Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak.

Co-chairs for this year’s event are Jim Fielding, Dave Karger, Patrick Moran and Chip Sullivan.

The event is co-hosted by Lawrence Angrisani, Greg Berlanti and Robbie Rogers, Brad Bessey and Frank Sanchez, Edison Briones, Kevin Brockman and Dan Berendsen, Jessica Capshaw and Christopher Gavigan, Terry Clark, Donald De Line, Matt Henry, Andrew Hotz and Kevin Friedman, Lauren Huff, Mike Irvin, Richard Konigsberg and Craig Olsen, George Kotsiopoulos, Carlos Lopez, Duncan Millership and Simon Thomas, Cody Morris and Christopher Landon, Corey Palent, Jonathan Rollo and Joey Gonzalez, Ben Roy, Mimi Slavin, and Ben Spector. 

Sponsors of the 2016 GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles include Presenting Sponsors Wells Fargo, Target and The Walt Disney Company. 

For more information about the GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles, please visit our event website


GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org