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 11, 2015

Spring 2015

Rahel and Jordy leading yoga.
Rahel and Jordy leading yoga.

Dear Future Health Professional Supporter,

Happy Spring! It’s been a busy winter here at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) for the Teen Health Promoters youth (THP). With your support, our 15 low-income high school students have been exploring a future health career and are working as healthy living advocates for their peers. Your donations have helped pay for scrubs, certification trainings, internships, and community events run by our youth. Thank you!

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. This important training gave our youth great hands-on experience learning basic healthcare skills that they can use in their internships.

During February, the THP youth helped put on a “Don’t Get the Love Bug!” Valentine's Day themed Health Fair for the community. The fair was a huge success, with a large turnout; over 50 youth from the community came to LAYC’s Teen Center to attend. The THP youth helped community partners distribute information, encouraged peers to undergo free HIV and STI testing, facilitated fitness tutorials, and conducted a yoga class! THP youth were especially excited to lead a yoga class in order to bring awareness to their peers of more diverse health practices. Two youth who took the lead, Rahel and Jordy, researched and practiced different poses used to create balance in the body such as downward dog, warrior poses, and tree pose, as well as meditation practices.

Thank you for your continued support. Every contribution expands the opportunities for these low-income youth. Please consider giving to THP on the morning of Wednesday, March 18th, as Global Giving is offering a 30% match on all donations up to $1,000.

Stay tuned for more updates on the THP youth as they attend a Health Career panel, complete a Funky Fitness project, work at their internships, and more.

Namaste!

Fair participant checking their blood pressure.
Fair participant checking their blood pressure.
Young yogis!
Young yogis!

Links:

Jan 14, 2015

New Year, New Opportunities to Help Homeless Youth

Hunter at LAYC
Hunter at LAYC

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy few months for the street outreach team. In fact, thanks to your continued support, we’ve served an average of 45 homeless youth per month - a record for us! Of these youth, we’ve helped 42 find safe, stable housing.  One of these youth is Hunter.

Hunter is a 21-year-old young woman who dreams of a career in social justice. She is concerned with the role of race in society and for individual identity.  

When Hunter’s mother fell ill after years of drug use and related health problems, she went to live with her father and his new family, whom she had not seen since she was a little girl. There were cultural differences with her father’s family that affected her sense of self, and she became depressed and soon after, homeless.

Hunter came to LAYC in search of housing assistance and found much more. Once placed in a safe and stable home, Hunter went on to complete job training in LAYC’s workforce program, and is now a student in LAYC’s Bard College where she is working toward six college credits in the humanities.

“LAYC saved my life. They gave me a helping hand. I was completely alone,” shares Hunter. Hunter is hopeful for the future and focused on finishing the Bard program and continuing her college education.

Hunter is only one of an estimated 500 youth who find themselves homeless in the DC region on any given night. The winter season poses even greater hardships as temperatures plummet and shelter space is at a premium.

Please consider making an additional gift during these winter months. Your support makes it possible for us to bring these youth out of the cold and into a brighter future.

Thank you,

Dec 9, 2014

Introducing the Class of 2015

Class of 2015
Class of 2015

Dear Future Health Professional Supporter,

We sincerely appreciate your interest in and continued support of the Teen Health Promoters (THP) program at the Latin American Youth Center. Thanks to you, THP started off with a bang this fall. Our program’s success and reputation yielded yet another competitive applicant pool, with over 30 applications received from youth who are passionate about becoming future health leaders. THP’s program coordinator, Nicole, had the tough challenge of admitting only 15. This year’s cohort includes youth from five area high schools. Most are female upperclassmen, of which five will graduate next May and continue their pursuit of careers in health and/or medicine.

With your help, in November, the THP youth embarked on a field trip to the University of Maryland, where they participated in a challenge course. This experience allowed them to cultivate a sense of community, discover their strengths, and build leadership, problem-solving, and communication skills. They developed a sense of teamwork that will serve them well throughout the duration of THP and beyond.

THP has an exciting year ahead of them. With your contributions, not only will they learn about topics ranging from mental health and substance abuse to safe sex, they will positively impact their communities by organizing a series of health fairs and outreach projects around World AIDS Day, nutrition and fitness, and so forth. Additionally, they look forward to beginning their clinical internships with local community partners in the spring. Your support will help us fund their CPR certifications and TB testing required to start the internships and will help us purchase their stethoscopes, scrubs, blood pressure cuffs.

Your contributions have helped these youth make their career aspirations a reality. Thank you for giving them a chance.

Leslie, Future Dental Hygienist
Leslie, Future Dental Hygienist
Jordy, Future Physician
Jordy, Future Physician
Ricky, Future Orthodontist
Ricky, Future Orthodontist

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