Betsy Hanger is the proud mom of two queer children, ages 25 and 29. Her son came out to the family in November 2004 and transitioned to male as a high school freshman; her daughter came out in college a few months later. Since then, Betsy has served as secretary for the PFLAG chapter in Pasadena CA, trains with GLSEN (the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) and is a Family Advocate for TYFA (Trans Youth Family Allies). Since 2008 Betsy volunteers for Lifeworks’ Models of Pride, the West Coast’s largest annual conference for LGBTQ youth and their families, and co-produced the Parent and Professional Institute for three years. She was honored as Outstanding Ally by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Trans Pride 2013, and frequently speaks on panels concerning the mental health and resilience factors of LGBTQ students. A Certified Mindfulness Instructor with Mindful Schools, Betsy works as a community mentor with the Los Angeles Unified School District and wears the LAUSD Safe Schools badge proudly at work.
Betsy trained as a musicologist and conductor and taught music theory, choral repertoire, and musical theater in three independent schools from 1981 – 2011. Past and present volunteering activities include: co-advisor to the Windward School GSA, class correspondent for Sarah Lawrence College alumnae/i; Ambassador to Southern California for the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America; member of the Walden School Board of Trustees, heading the Education Committee through two WASC studies; and member of the Advisory Council for Walden School in Pasadena, CA. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, she holds a B.A. in music and history from Sarah Lawrence College, advanced degrees in musicology from UCLA, and at age 62, finished a second Masters in Education specializing in curriculum and instruction. Her chapter on honoring and working skillfully with diversity appears in the manual Teaching Mindfulness Skills to Children and Teens (Guildford Press, 2015). In February 2015 Betsy represented Mindful Schools at the Teach for America 25th Anniversary Conference, and presented Honoring Diversity through Mindfulness at UCSD’s Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference. Since July 2015, Betsy has served at Mindful Schools as the Social Media and Community Manager, offering resources to over 250K educators, administrators, and school-based therapists on mindfulness, social-emotional learning, and emerging issues in educating urban youth. She and her husband Peter live in Los Angeles, CA.
5225 Dahlia Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90041