Anders Zhou USA, 17

project: Lavender.O
basiC human NEEDS: SAFETY

Theme Song: “Partition” by Beyoncé

Like many LGBTQ youth, Anders received a negative response from those around him when he came out. In the United States, nearly 40% of young homeless individuals identify as LGBTQ, proving the lack of support and tolerance for this population. Anders and his friend Glynnis created Lavender.O, an app to help prevent the cycle of rejection, loneliness and fear that many young queers experience. With the power of communication and technology, they strive to have Lavender.O become more than just an app –  a place where a misunderstood community can unite. Lavender.O facilitates users to connect, form meaningful relationships, as well as identify resources and groups in their local communities.

The app also acts as a platform to find and direct message with like-minded friends who understand them. The outline for the app has received positive feedback from young people who can’t wait to use it. Expected to release Spring 2017, Anders hopes the app will grow into an international movement promoting LGBTQ+ individuals to live freely, happily and without restraint. Giving Lavender.O the official motto, “you’re not alone,” Anders is on a mission to ensure no young person ever feels alone.