South Central MN Pride is pleased to dedicate PrideFest 2016 to Elora Greiner. Currently a senior at Mankato East High School, Elora has brought awareness and change to high school students throughout Mankato. In her sophomore year, Elora began the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at East High School and has been the fearless leader ever since. She even expands the walls of the East school to include all students in Mankato and has worked to develop a coalition of youth throughout the school district.
As a junior, she earned the Greater Mankato Growth Young Pathfinder Award, which recognizes people committed to fair and equal treatment for all, healthy communities, and peaceful resolution to conflicts. She states that there were two staff members at East High School that nominated her for creating the safe space at the school for LGBT students. Parents would request help in guiding their LGBT children and the staff were proud to be able to direct them to the East GSA.
Elora was also a member of the OutFront Minnesota School Pride GSA Network. As part of this leadership group, she helped other schools establish GSAs and developed gender neutral language for schools to use. She also brought several students from East to the Youth Summit to engage in learning opportunities and a chance to speak with state representatives.
As a senior this year, Elora knows that it is important to make sure the path she laid will continue on. She is looking forward to mentoring current and new members of the GSA this year to carry on the group once she graduates. Activities planned for this year are Day of Silence and National Coming Out Day. She is also hopeful to improve the access to gender neutral bathrooms at East High School. SCMN Pride is honored to dedicate the 2016 PrideFest to Elora Griener.