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October 2021 Staff Spotlight

Congratulations to Olivia Jane Figueroa (she/her or they/them), our October Spotlight Award Winner! Olivia first joined IYG in January of 2021 as an intern and was hired as a Case Management Specialist in June of this year. “When I first heard about IYG, I was so intrigued,” she said. “I was a freshman at UIndy and new to Indianapolis. Being from a diverse, urban area and being very VERY trans myself, I always thought I had a good grasp of queerness, but what I realized […] is that I never really had a good grasp of what it’s like to live in collective queerness, to have a community where queerness is a shared understanding. When I learned I could do an internship there, it was my first choice, and I couldn't be any happier that I made that decision!” And why is she so happy working with IYG? “Gosh where do I start! I am SO grateful for all the experiences IYG has created for me. I have gotten to work under fellow trans women and in several ways feel like I've finally gotten the trans mentors I needed as a kid. Moreover, I have never felt more connected to any other team that I have been a part of. Instantly, I knew that IYG was a safe place to be myself and eventually I learned that I could also be a safe place for other people. Professionally, this is my first "big girl" job, and that was intimidating, but I was comforted by the backing of such a supportive and progressive case management team. I've been able to guide several young adults on their journey to safe and stable housing and am proud to say I have successfully helped 16 of my clients get housed! I am so blessed to be on a team that believes in my abilities and in a role where I have continued to learn and grow. There's still so much more to go, more space to make, and more feathers to ruffle, and I am so pumped to do that with IYG.”

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