Scholar Class – 2013
Rachael Stein was born and raised in Beverly Hills, Michigan, which is a predominantly Catholic Detroit suburb. When she came out in 8th grade, she quickly realized that her conservative community did not tolerate her gay, gender non-conforming identity. Nevertheless, she wanted to change hearts and attitudes about LGBTQ people throughproving herself as a local leader. Beginning her freshman year, she got involved with her high school Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). Through the GSA, she connected with a local chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). When she was a sophomore, she worked with fellow GLSEN students to found a youth advocacyboard, which connected GSA leaders in order to plan summits, educational trainings, and social events. Affiliating with this GLSEN chapter allowed her to eventually engage in national GLSEN programming as a media ambassador, Jump Start programming coordinator, and safe schools lobbyist. During her junior year, she received a $30,000 grant from the State Farm YAB to found the “Breaking the Silence Initiative”, which is a youth-directed anti-bullyingprogram. She led about 20 high school leaders in making media appearances, conducting educator trainings, planning advocacy events, creating social media campaigns, providing school presentations, and more. The initiative currently has its own office space and plans for long-term sustainability. Rachael is currently pursuing her B.S. at Harvard College. She plans to study social sciences, including economics and international relations. She hopes to use her degree to continuously increase awareness of LGBTQ issues on a worldwide platform.