Introducing Anna Maria Garza, Hatch Youth Services Associate
by Ty David
Lerman, MA, LPC-S, CHt, The Montrose Center
If you’ve been paying attention to Hatch
you’ve probably noticed some changes. We are silly-excited (no
really, some of
us may have actually done a happy dance) to have Deb Murphy
back! While Deb was away, the Hatch Youth Services Associate was
doing a yeoman's share of the work, but then her family
relocated to Corpus Christi, leaving a great big gap!
The interview process was extensive
because we’re really choosy about all volunteers and staff
involved with the Hatchlings. With this new position opening up,
the youth were allowed to come up with
their own interview questions, and some were part of the actual
interviews. When we say that Hatch gives a voice to young
people, we have to listen! They were vital in helping screen
candidates! Both the youth and the agency were in
agreement with one candidate who stood out. She’s a rockstar!
part of the community for years, AND she’s even a former
Hatchling! Who is this
girl…? drum roll
She's Anna Maria Garza!!!
Anna’s family moved to the suburbs of
Houston when she was
in middle school. She describes herself as always being a little
bit of a rebel in the
non-destructive/non-conforming kind of way. Either from her
“weirdness,”, or some other factor, she didn't have a lot of
like many teens, not many “out” peers in middle and high school.
In high school art class, she wondered if one of her classmates
was like her. She secretly came out to him by showing him the
pink triangle she had on her
binder. When he recognized the symbold, the two hit it off like
Justin Bieber and saggy pants! The dynamic duo eventually caught
wind of an LGBT
youth group that met once a week (at that time) and found a way
When Anna talks about her first
experience with Hatch, she lights up like the “big kid” she
describe herself as. She said Hatch was her salvation.
“To see people like you
made everything less weird”, she shared. Her time in the
group provided tools to be more confident as Anna. The
friendships she made at Hatch have been life-long. She recounted
recently attending an out-of-state wedding. “It
was like a mini Hatch reunion,” she joked. Her experience and
Hatch helped pave the way for her future work as an adult.
Anna also is an accomplished musician,
playing drums, guitar, bass
guitar, and doing vocals. She was part of a short-lived,
all-girl band that helped light
the passion for helping other young women find their voices –
figuratively! In 2010 she launched the Houston chapter of Girls
Rock Camp, a
non-profit that empowers young women through music. Many of the
goals of Girls Rock fall right
in line with Hatch's mission.
Her activist fire continues to burn
brightly, taking on the
fight for reproductive rights, women’s rights, racism and
classism. Adding LGBT
youth to her list was a no-brainer for Anna when the
Youth Services Associate
position opened up. For her it was coming full circle. Anna is
excited to give back to the program that was such an
influence for her own life.
The Montrose Center is lucky to have scored
such a fireball of
enthusiasm and positivity! Not to mention, we now have our very
own Rock Girl!