Ashley's Research Trip to Ukraine

Ashley's Research Trip to Ukraine

From Ashley Lewis

I have the exciting opportunity to go on a cross-cultural trip to Ukraine this summer, and I would be grateful for your support! For more information continue scrolling.

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Hi Fam! Thank you for your interest in helping support me to go on this  amazing trip. I have the opportunity to go on a cross-cultural trip to Ukraine this Summer with the Sexual and Gender Identity Institute at Wheaton College. Both this semester and last I have gotten to be part of research, consultations and trainings with the Institute. For more information on SGI you can click the link (below). Please feel free to message me directly if you have questions about the Institute and the work we do!


While in Ukraine, our team will be partnering with Regent University to teach a 3-day modular intensive course on sexuality and narrative sexual identity therapy at Ukraine Theological Seminary during their annual mental health conference. We will also participate at the medical conference in Kyiv by submitting a conference poster and presentation.

SGI’s Director, Dr. Mark Yarhouse, is a world renowned scholar in the field of Psychology in Sexual and Gender Identity. Getting to travel with Dr. Y and the team is a unique and special opportunity for me for two reasons:  

1. In being on this research team, I am positioned right in the middle of the polarizing LGBTQ+ conversation taking place in the American Church at this time in history. There is a lack of language in the church to facilitate non-divisive conversations with the LGBTQ+ community and individuals. I believe educating the church is the first step in building bridges between the church and the LGBTQ+ community. Our team is building bridges in the States, but our research is also building bridges abroad. How cool! 

2. It has been said that "teaching is the best way to learn." Going on this trip will provide me with valuable opportunities to teach and hold space for conversations with future clinicians about the complex nature of sexual and gender identity. These experiences will shape my character and future career as a mental health counselor. 


Unfortunately, the costs of this trip are more than I can afford. Each week I attend around 16 hours of lectures and then spend many more hours studying, doing work in labs, and engaging in research while trying maintain a healthy lifestyle. I work 10+ hours a week providing ABA therapy to kids on the autism spectrum, and I will not be able to pull in enough money for food, bills, rent and this trip.  

I do not like asking for money; everyone seems to have cause or a platform that needs money, and I get it, it is overwhelming sometimes annoying. BUT, here I am asking for your money. I need $1000 by Valentine’s Day and then I need another $1000 by May 1, and I would be so grateful for your support. If you would like to give, below is a link to a google doc. explaining how you can give. 

This trip is an incredible opportunity for me to have in the beginnings of my journey to become a mental health counselor. By supporting me you will become a part of my journey as I become an excellent mental health counselor that will provide the best quality care to all people. 

“We are always becoming. It never stops.” - Richard Blanco 

Thank you! 


Sexual and Gender Identity Institute

Ukraine 2020 Support Letter

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