The team behind the high school program

I wanted to include the contents of this post in with the post about the article on high school atheism, but I decided that the article should get its own space.

I want to tell you about all the people at SSA HQ who make the high school program rock.

Lyz Liddell – My boss, the director of campus organizing.  There was never a harder worker who cared so damn much about the people beneath her.  I’ve learned tons from her that has made me better at what I do with the high school program.  Whenever I’ve needed specific information or a new infodump from the web site, she’s been there.  She makes me a better person and a better activist every day.

Sam Jackson – He sends out group-starting packets to these schools and keeps me apprised of any issues.

Nick Stancato – Does the yeoman’s work managing speaker events for high schools.

Sarah Moglia – Keeps me sane in the office when a constant stream of people in positions of power mistreating atheist students has me down on humanity.

Andy Cheadle – Taught Sam everything he knows and, like Sarah, keeps me sane.

Hell, the article itself was a result of the communications skills of Jesse Galef, who set up the whole article.  All I had to do was talk on the phone.

As I have grown as a secular activist, my name has continually been the one in the spotlight despite being surrounded at every step by people of comparable or even superior talent.  It started with Skepticon when I was the front man despite the unbelievable work of Lauren Lane, Ryan Culbertson-Faegre, Amber Culbertson-Faegre, Rob Lehr, Blythe Clutter, Steven, George, Katie Hartman, and others.

Even in the WP article my name comes up a couple times, but not the names of everybody else who makes that program run.  It’s really unfortunate, because without all of the above people the high school atheist program would be a dream.  These are the people who make it a reality, and they deserve equal credit.

Also, think the work we do rules?  Give us (a the students we support) your money.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • julian

    Give us (a the students we support) your money.

    I’d love to but short on funds next month. Will see if I can throw a bit your way next month though.

  • Armored Scrum Object

    Well, you must have at least credited some of these people before, because when I got the thanks/receipt letter, I scanned the list of names on it for ones I recognized, saw Lyz, and thought something very close to “oh yeah, she’s JT’s boss, and reportedly an extremely laudable human being”. OTOH, I feel slightly guilty not knowing who Simon is, since (s)he apparently cared enough to break out a pen to thank me in a less automated fashion.

    (FWIW, I did appreciate the gesture. I’m an unabashed technologist, but I feel like recent years have seen a surge in using technology to put up barriers to human communication and cooperation instead of breaking them down, and for all the potential for technology to amplify human effort it’s heartening to have a bit of concrete ink-in-pulp evidence that an actual person genuinely gives a shit)

  • Crimbly

    What an uplifting post – I don’t live in America but it’s great to see skepticism/atheism rumble inexorably along the consciousnesses of young Americans’ minds.

    Also, it makes a difference from reading about the general cantankerousness and arguments about FTB and between FTB bloggers. Sometimes you just need KITTEH PICS & LOVE.