Graduate Student

As a transgender youth of color who spent most of her childhood in foster care, Nia Clark consistently struggled to find acceptance and support from the adults around her. Nia has spent nearly fifteen years changing the system from within as a child welfare consultant, direct care counselor, trainer, and LGBTQ+ youth advocate. From 2006 – 2014, she was a direct care counselor at The Home for Little Wanderers. From 2015-2017, Nia was the Mentoring Coordinator at LifeWorks, the youth development and mentoring program at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. In 2016 she served as consulting producer of the Emmy-nominated MTV documentary, Transformation, a film featuring herself and six trans & gender-diverse youth. Nia is currently a Master Trainer & Technical Assistance Specialist for the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children – All Families Project, an initiative that helps child welfare agencies to achieve safety, permanency, and well-being for queer youth in foster care. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) enlisted her help in launching a national pilot project to provide more inclusive mentoring services and resources to LGBTQ+ youth. As one of BBBSA’s National LGBTQ Mentoring Coaches, she has trained almost 30 sites across the country. Nia holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles. She is currently enrolled at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts where she plans to obtain her MSW and become a social work professor, so she can continue teaching adults to affirm and support queer youth in systems of care.