Corey Young, advisor in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, is being named a Rising Star by the Dubuque Telegraph Herald. Young is one of 12 recipients from the tri-state area to be recognized in the 2021 class. According to the newspaper, published in Dubuque, Iowa, the selection committee focused on criteria that included nominees being 40 and younger who are active in their careers and community.
“I was quite surprised. It’s very humbling to receive this award,” said Young. “It’s about the work I do at UW-Platteville, but in Dubuque, I’m the founder of the nonprofit called Key City Pride. [The nomination] demonstrated my work at UW-Platteville and in Dubuque.”
Key City Pride was established in 2019 with the purpose to educate and empower the public and local LGBTQ+ community. Young said he was inspired to develop the organization from his own experiences growing up in Chicago.
“I’m a queer man of color. In Chicago, Pride and the African American community is much bigger. I wanted to bring that same feeling and atmosphere to my new home [of Dubuque],” said Young. “It’s something to look forward to, whether it’s different events, services or resources. Even though Dubuque isn’t as big, we are here. Our presence here means something. I wanted to give that same feeling to my new home.”
Young added that the response from Dubuque and the surrounding areas has been great.
“People have been really accepting with what we are doing. When they come to our events, they see they are of good quality and fun events to go to,” said Young.
As an advocate of LGBTQ+ and anti-racist efforts, Young hopes his UW-Platteville students who identify as LGBTQ+ feel welcomed. He is also the Alliance advisor on campus. Young’s goal is to always bring an environment of inclusion and equity. He acknowledges the importance of representation.
“I might be the only person of color or the only person who is LGBTQ+. It’s being present in the office and other places that makes a difference,” said Young. “It’s letting people know we are here. We do deserve a voice to be represented. Hopefully, I can be a good positive voice in those efforts and be someone they can rely on in the future; to move the needle forward in whatever way possible.”
The message Young shares with his students is to be fearless, a word he uses to describe himself. To Young, fearless means to be your authentic self.
“It doesn’t matter what room you are in or who you are talking to, it’s being who you are without reservation or hesitation,” he said. “Hopefully, that light in me shines and other people can see that I’m someone who they can talk to. I’m not afraid to be me inside and out.”
With campus returning to a traditional setting for the first time since March 2020, Young is excited to be back with his students in person and watch them grow.
“My favorite part is seeing the students become who they are as individuals,” he said. “Students are always welcome in OMSA. Our door is always open.”