Hill Exits SMYAL

Health reasons cited

Tasha Hill, a Michigan native who came to Washington from Colorado last year to accept the top spot at the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), which is dedicated to helping GLBT youth, has officially left the organization.

”Tasha has resigned for medical reasons,” Todd Peterson, president of SMYAL’s board of directors, said on Wednesday, May 21. He added that Hill, 36, had expressed that she would not be able contribute fully to her position as executive director. Peterson, the only SMYAL source offering comment as of Metro Weekly deadline, would not elaborate on Hill’s condition, deferring to SMYAL policy not to discuss medical or personal matters.

Andrew Barnett, SMYAL’s director of operations and communications, has been serving as the acting executive director of the organization for the past several months and will continue to do so until a replacement is found. No deadline was offered for finding a permanent replacement for Hill.

”Right now we’re regrouping and are putting together a search process for an executive director,” Peterson said. ”We greatly appreciate all the of the support that we have received from the community.”

Before coming to SMYAL in spring of 2007, Hill, with a master’s degree in education and a focus on GLBT youth in schools, led Inside/Out Youth Services, a GLBT youth organization in Colorado Springs, Colo. Peterson praised Hill’s year-long tenure at SMYAL, including her collaborations with D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, as well as her contributions in organizing SMYAL’s fall brunch. He described the November 2007 event as ”the most successful brunch in [SMYAL's] history,” raising $115,000.

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