Booz Allen’s Terry McBride: Making Back to School More Inclusive for All
In its National School Climate Survey, GLSEN, a national advocacy group for LGBTQ+ youth in schools, found that 70% of LGBTQ+ students experienced verbal harassment at school because of their sexual orientation. And 35% of respondents said they missed at least one day of school in the month prior to taking the survey because they felt unsafe there.
Senior Lead Technologist Terry McBride is on a mission to change this situation for the better. When he’s not at Booz Allen helping thwart fraud at the U.S. Postal Service, he’s advocating for a more inclusive culture in schools and in his home town of Baltimore.
A personal mission
McBride’s advocacy includes active involvement with the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at his transgender daughter Eli’s elementary school.
GSA aims to provide safety and support for LGBTQ+ students. McBride’s work includes ensuring that the club has funds, supplies, and snacks. He also provided planning, financial, and chaperone support so as many kids as possible could travel to New York City to see GLSEN recognize the club as “GSA of the Year.”
“Watching my eight-year-old daughter be so confident and outspoken ignited my courage to actively make the world a better place,” said McBride, a “natural born introvert,” whose comfort zone was in front of a computer programming his own video games as a kid.
A supportive community
“When I told my Booz Allen team about Eli, there was an outpouring of support,” McBride said. “My involvement in the LGBTQ+ community is encouraged and fits nicely into Booz Allen’s values.”
The McBrides have found support outside of work as well. McBride and his wife have created parent support groups, and a local NPR station did a story on Eli’s advocacy and educational work with schools.
“Once that went live, many local families and individuals reached out with shared experiences, multiplying the support we can give and receive,” McBride said. “We’re changing the world by expanding our understanding of identity.”
“I’m proud to be part of a community supporting kids in being themselves and creating a world that celebrates diversity," he said.