We are excited to learn that Nick Buchser has been named the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Volunteer of the Year. Many of you may not be aware of the hard work that Nick does for our firm. A lot of his work is behind the scenes making sure that our office runs smoothly. If you’ve attended Drag Bingo you may have met him when he’s tabled for us.
Nick has an impressive volunteer resume and works harder than most people we know. Below is the summary of Nick’s work with the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
“We weren’t surprised when we learned that Nicholas Buchser was involved in a youth leadership program from the time he was in sixth grade through high school and beyond. Nick became involved with Builders Club in middle school, Key Club in high school and Circle K in College – all Service Leadership programs sponsored by Kiwanis International.
In those programs, Nick became a youth leader himself. He says, “Those programs provided growth that I would not have otherwise had.” We are deeply grateful he did!
Nick began volunteering with Triangle Community Works (TCW) and its A Safer Place for Youth Network (ASPYN) in the summer of 2006 – long before the LGBT Center of Raleigh was formed. Nick was involved in the Governance team that laid the foundation of the LGBT Center’s organization while he was the Board Chair of TCW. When TCW and the LGBT Center of Raleigh merged in 2010, he became the leader of the Center’s Youth and Family Initiative – a leadership position he continues to fulfill.
Nick’s leadership with our youth is guided by an impressive philosophy: “If you do everything for them, they will think everything is taken care of. But if they do it, they learn to make things happen for themselves.” Nick is the Youth Programs Manager, but has a full team of youth leaders and adult volunteers that shape the programs.
The largest annual youth event is the A Safer Place for Youth to Reach for Excellence (ASPYRE) Leadership Camp which is sponsored by the LGBT Center of Raleigh. The goal is for students come to the weekend with an idea and leave with a plan for change. Attendance at the weekend event more than tripled since its inception in 2013.
Nick also advises QueerNC – an LGBTQ youth group based in the Triangle area of North Carolina that is open to youth throughout North Carolina ages 13-18. The group currently reaches people through Triangle-based events and through a statewide online support group.
Finally, Nick oversees the Volunteer team that organizes the Youth Coffee House that provides a monthly youth drop-in safe space at a local coffee house.
In all these efforts, Nick often spends from 5 to 20 volunteer hours a week doing things that most adults at the Center never see: attending meetings with youth, making phone calls, sending emails and text messages, updating websites and social media … all the things that make the Youth Initiative happen. That and his dedication to the younger side of our community are why we are recognizing him as the LGBT Center of Raleigh’s Volunteer of the Year. The LGBT Center of Raleigh is truly grateful for Nick’s exceptional volunteer leadership efforts for our community over the years.”