SOTA Graduate and GSA Leader Supports LGBTQ+ Youth Through Clothing Capstone Project
Zachary Lipsett is an LGBTQ+ youth activist and recent graduate from Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA). He re-established SOTA’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) after the shelter-in-place alongside his close friend Ella Lewallen. During their time leading the GSA, they built community, taught lessons on LGBTQ+ history, and fundraised for a local LGBTQ non-profit called LYRIC. Ultimately, they managed to raise $1,534 in total during their two years running the club together. GSAs like the one Zachary co-led at SOTA is one example of an SFUSD student group that celebrates Pride and our LGBTQ+ students all year round.
To fundraise, Zachary designed and manufactured shirts from his home with the use of an embroidery machine and blank t-shirts he sourced online. This fundraising project would grow into his year-end senior capstone project, Arkaid. Arkaid is Zachary’s non-profit clothing brand supporting LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. With help from his mentor, Anna Bukareva, Zachary obtained $5,500 to initiate this venture ($5000 Youth Empowerment Fund and $500 FOSOTA Grant). With the money, Zachary built a website, social media presence, and locally manufactured garments, which he designed with the help of his friend Rosie Horn. He hired eight of his friends (six models and two photographers) to participate in a high-quality photo shoot and finally promoted Arakid through ads. All profits from Arkaid go towards LYRIC.
Zachary was also a member of SFUSD’s Queer Trans Advisory Council (QTAC), where he contributed to making a survey focusing on LGBTQ+ youth experiences in SFUSD. The QTAC consists of LGBTQ+ high school student leaders from across SFUSD. QTAC plans and leads the annual GSA and Youth Pride Days, as well as advises ongoing programming provided to schools by SFUSD’s LGBTQ Student Services.
Zachary will be studying Economics and Theatre at Occidental College in the Fall, and plans to continue advocating for his community while also exploring his business and performing arts-filled future.
This page was last updated on June 22, 2023