Latin American Youth Center

The mission of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is to empower a diverse population of underserved youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood, through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youth's social, academic, and career needs.
Mar 24, 2014

Spring Report

Jorge loads a car full of 5,000 diapers!
Jorge loads a car full of 5,000 diapers!

Spring is here, and LAYC's street outreach program is busy with lots of new clients and some exciting new partnerships. During the winter, we averaged 30 homeless and runaway youth per month, and your support ensured they received emergency shelter, food, and the supports they needed to work their way back to their families or find stable housing.

We are happy to share that we have a new partnership with DC Diaper Bank, which works to provide an adequate and reliable supply of diapers to babies, toddlers, and their families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Our very own street outreach case manager Jorge Cabrera picked up 5,000 diapers for the program's young parents. “Many of our families do not have enough money for diapers, and sometimes some of our youth have to choose between diapers and food,” noted Jorge.

In the next few months, we will start a partnership with a local Wal-Mart store that will donate surplus supplies to our program every two weeks, such as shampoo, clothing, and non-perishable food items.

Thank you for your continued support of our work to keep homeless and runaway youth safe and on a path to self-sufficiency.

Feb 3, 2014

New Scrubs, CPR, and more!

Fanny and Daysha in first-aid training.
Fanny and Daysha in first-aid training.

Dear Future Health Professional Supporter,

Thank you so much for your support to date! With your help, 14 future health professionals completed the sexual health phase and have begun clinical skills training. Your contributions helped pay for certification, practice equipment costs, and scrubs! Thank you!

Before the winter break, the Teen Health Promoters wrote and performed a three-act play titled, the Lives of Relationships: Consent, Communication, and Connection. The play presented common scenarios between young couples, including a vignette of a conversation over cell phones.

In early January, the participants started the clinical skills phase to prepare for their internships at local clinics and hospitals. Thus far, they have become CPR and first-aid certified and have learned to measure vital signs. Next, they will receive a special workshop on HIPAA regulations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Soon after, they will begin their clinical internships at The George Washington University Hospital or at several community clinics. Thanks to your support, they will look the part in brand-new scrubs. Photos coming soon!

To support their experience through the internship, we matched each youth with a health professional that shares her/his health interests. For Daysha, a future pediatrician, that means corresponding with Elizabeth, a third-year medical student at The George Washington University School of Medicine who plans to specialize in pediatrics. And Fanny, a future nurse, has begun her mentorship with Kenyatta, a registered nurse at The George Washington University Hospital. The youth will meet with their mentors at monthly events, and email or talk on the phone weekly.

Thanks again for believing in these youth. Your contributions make a real difference. Stay tuned for updates and pictures from the clinical internships.

Vital signs training
Vital signs training
Jawanda future doctor w/Megan med student
Jawanda future doctor w/Megan med student
Vital signs training
Vital signs training
Fanny future nurse w/ Kenyatta registered nurse
Fanny future nurse w/ Kenyatta registered nurse
Nov 18, 2013

Meet Jonathan

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams

We are pleased to share with you the story of one of the youth we've worked with the past three months. Jonathan Williams is a happy, thriving young man with a loving and supportive family. At 21, he is high school graduate with dreams of flying planes for the Air Force. Just three months ago, Jonathan had been homeless for six years. After Jonathan's mother passed away when he was 15 and no father in his life, he learned how to survive on the streets.

Today, a couple in Prince George’s County in Maryland is Jonathan's loving and supportive family. The family participates in LAYC's transitional living program, an 18-month host home for homeless youth 16-22 years of age. LAYC found Jonathan through its street outreach program and within a few weeks, Jonathan was enrolled in LAYC's case management services, receiving the supports he needs, and stably housed. Jonathan is now able to be a young person exploring his career and educational goals. For example, the program connected Jonathan with an Air Force recruiter and a program alum who served in the military. Jonathan is also exploring a career in construction management, has applied for admission to Price George’s County Community College, and he is working on an application for a New Futures Scholarship.

The youth we serve, advocate for, and care about depend on us to believe in them and their dreams, and most of all to give them a chance. On any given night, the District of Columbia has an estimated 500 homeless youth; virtually all of them are on the street through no fault of their own. This is why we do our work, so that homeless youth can have a stable place to live, a good support network, and are able to improve their lives.

Thank you for your continued support of our project. Please consider making a generous donation to our project this holiday season.

P.S. Watch Jonathan discuss how he became homeless in this video produced by community partner DC Alliance of Youth Advocates.

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