ALL NEWS

Apple CEO, Jazz owner, and Imagine Dragons star partner in donation to Encircle Youth

Feb 25, 2021, 8:05 AM | Updated: 5:10 pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith (center) and Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynol...

Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith (center) and Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds (right) Photos: Deseret News

(right)

PROVO, Utah — Apple CEO Tim Cook, Jazz owner Ryan Smith, and Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds announced a partnership donation of $4 million to Encircle, an organization that provides programs and mental health services for LGBTQ+ youth and their families.

“Encircle has developed a model that embodies everything that I believe in. It’s love, it’s home, it’s unity, it’s safety. And, you know, it’s truly innovative,” Smith told Good Morning America.

Encircle plans more homes 

Together, the three announced their $4 million donation to seed Encircle’s “$8 Million, 8 Houses’’ capital campaign to expand resources and homes from its roots in Utah and to locations in Idaho, Nevada and Arizona.

The founder of the Utah non-profit, Stephanie Larson, offered more details. 

“We plan to build four more [homes] in Utah, as well as two in Arizona, two in Idaho, and then one will be in Dan Reynold’s childhood home in Las Vegas,” Larson said. 

Related: LoveLoud organizers: making progress, but still work to do

Larson says the support from Cook, Reynolds and Smith speaks volumes. 

“Having these leaders from tech, music and sports come together sends a message to LGBTQ people across the world that they are loved and cared about,” she added. 

“The point that we want to hit home that every family needs to hear is that acceptance is not enough for our LGBTQ youth. They need to be celebrated,” Reynolds said.

Jazz owners Ryan Smith and his wife Ashley are contributing $2 million to the fund, Apple is donating $1 million as well as providing Apple devices to help promote connection and education, and Reynolds and his wife, Aja Volkman are donating Dan’s childhood home, valued at $1 million, in Las Vegas.  

What Encircle does

Encircle, which was founded in Utah in 2017, has three homes in Utah in Provo, Salt Lake and St. George, with a fourth under construction in Heber. 

Since their opening, the organization said they have served over 70,000 individuals and, “provide[ed] a lifeline to those facing suicidality, isolation and depression, [while] helping them build local community and forge a path forward.” 

Coming out to help kids

Cook shared his own experience of coming out, explaining that he decided to share that part of his life after hearing from so many kids who were getting harassed and seriously contemplating suicide. 

“This is why I came out because I was getting notes from kids and kids that were contemplating suicide kids that were being bullied. And so I wanted to share a part of my life. And being involved in this with Dan and Ryan and sort of taking it to a new level is what it’s all about.”

Cook has spent time in Utah sharing his experience and support for LGBTQ+ young people, appearing at the second LOVELOUD festival in 2018. During his visit, he toured Encircle’s first property in Provo. 

Full circle for Reynolds

Reynolds said the moment has really come full circle for him.

“I’ve watched throughout my life the difficult path that LGBTQ youth have, especially coming in from homes of faith. So to now know that with my mom and dad’s blessing, I was able to purchase the house from them, and it’s going to be the first and Encircle home in Las Vegas. And that’s, that’s powerful for me.”


 


 

Gov. Cox signals he won’t sign bill barring transgender girls from female sports without some changes

Ban on transgender athletes in Utah girls’ sports stalls

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

taylorsville police k-9 officers shown. A resolution recognizing this week as National Police Week ...

Josuee Sanchez

A resolution recognizing this week as National Police Week has passed

Utah Senator Mitt Romney supports a resolution to recognize this week as "National Police Week." In Sergeant Bill Hooser's remembrance and all officers that sacrificed their lives for their community.

4 hours ago

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased ...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Summit County to acquire largest open space in its history for $55 million

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased after grant funding is made available in 2025.

5 hours ago

In an act of brotherhood between nations New York City and Dublin Ireland each put a public art ins...

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Portal is Closed

An experiment in Brotherhood between nations ends with a twerk.

6 hours ago

Weeks before Pride Month starts up, Spy Hop is celebrating love in all of its forms with Queer Prom...

Josuee Sanchez

Spy Hop hosting its second annual Queer Prom Friday

Weeks before Pride Month starts up, Spy Hop is celebrating love in all of its forms with Queer Prom. The event is free to attend.

7 hours ago

The estate of Eric Richins is suing Kouri Richins for at least $13 million.  The new lawsuit accus...

Devin Oldroyd

Kouri Richins defense team asks for prosecution to be dismissed

Kouri Richins' defense team is asking that the prosecution be dismissed, alleging that prosecutors violated her Sixth Amendment rights.

8 hours ago

A "For sale" sign in front of a home in North Salt Lake. Home listings for sale went up 23% in Apri...

Tammy Kikuchi

Home listings for sale in Utah went up almost 23% in April

Deanna Devey with the Utah Association of Realtors shared insights of new listings for homes, the total supply of homes and the number of closed sales all increased in April.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Apple CEO, Jazz owner, and Imagine Dragons star partner in donation to Encircle Youth