NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Matthew Contreras is a third-year student at California State University Northridge (CSUN) and struggled with his sexual identity before college.
"I went to a Catholic school for nine years, I was in church once a week, I didn't really feel like all the other guys in my class," said Contreras. "I struggled with depression and I struggled with abusing drugs."
Then he found the Pride Center at CSUN, an office for students in the LGBTQIA+ community inside of the main student center on campus.
Contreras has been involved with activities and groups that stemmed out of Pride Center since he first enrolled at CSUN, and he attributes a lot of his leadership development to the center.
On top of school, he works for The Village Family Services helping young adults transition from homelessness by finding jobs.
While doing all of that he was still able to help Councilwoman Nury Martinez's office with the preparations for Valley Pride, which will be held in Van Nuys Saturday June 22, 2019.
His involvement with the LGBTQIA+ community in the Valley has given him hope for the future to possibly start a family, which is something he never thought that he'd be able to do before.
CSUN student finds hope in Valley LGBTQIA+ community
IN THE COMMUNITY