Jan 11, 2019

Meet Miguel!

Dear Friend,

Every homeless youth faces a unique and complex set of challenges, yet they all share the same hope of finding safety, shelter, and the opportunity to improve their personal circumstances. Miguel is a young person who faced numerous challenges during his childhood in Guatemala and after immigrating to the US in 2016. Though Miguel was without a home upon his arrival in the US, he found refuge in LAYC’s transitional living program, and with the support of many caring individuals, he has learned two languages, is succeeding at school and work, and is thriving socially. Here is his story:

As a child in Guatemala, Miguel lost both parents and faced extreme poverty. Despite speaking only his local dialect and having no contacts in the US, Miguel immigrated to Texas at 17. Not only was Miguel on his own and daunted by immigration procedures, he was also suffering from a severe, chronic medical condition. Shortly after arriving in Texas, Miguel underwent surgery and was told he would need ongoing medical treatment. This was a scary and confusing time for Miguel due to the challenges of communicating with his medical team and the fact that he had no previous knowledge of his medical condition.

After relocating to the DMV, Miguel was connected with LAYC and was soon placed with a caring foster mother. Miguel quickly learned English and Spanish and committed to regular meetings with LAYC staff. Through LAYC, Miguel found a safe place to sleep, received case management and counseling, and was connected to critical medical services and a GED program.He received guidance related to navigating complicated health care and legal systems, as well as school and public transportation.

Miguel has flourished in his time at LAYC. From day one, he has demonstrated exceptional personal responsibility, never missing a case management or medical appointment. He recently transitioned to an independent living program through DC Open Doors and has successfully held two jobs. In addition, Miguel continues to manage his chronic medical issue while attending his second year of GED classes at Next Step Public Charter School. The LAYC team is tremendously proud of Miguel's persistence, resilience, and many achievements. They are quick to share that his delightful and endearing nature makes him an absolute joy to be around.

Thank you so much for your support of LAYC’s homeless youth programs. Please consider donating to help more young people like Miguel receive the comprehensive support they need to thrive in adulthood.

Gracias,


Lupi Quinteros-Grady
President & CEO

Oct 15, 2018

Meet Nancy!

Dear Friend,

Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) is proud of our program alumni, many of whom are committed to giving back to the organization and our community. Here is Nancy’s story:

Nancy jokingly says that she is an LAYC youth “from back in the day,” when LAYC was located on 15th Street NW and youth affectionately called LAYC’s Teen Center “La Peña.” She notes that while LAYC was not as structured and diverse in programs as it is today, the impact LAYC and its staff had on her life is something she will never forget.

Nancy found LAYC in 1989 under challenging circumstances. She had been in trouble with law enforcement and appeared in court before then judge, Eric Holder. At that hearing, Judge Holder put Nancy on probation, placed her in a teen shelter, and had her report to an LAYC staff member. That staff member, Director of Social Services Carla Branch, and so many other LAYC staff became an integral part of Nancy’s teenage years. Nancy notes that she had no family support, and when she became pregnant with her first child, it was LAYC staff who supported her, even being with her in the delivery room. And when living with family failed after she had her daughter, it was LAYC who stepped in and paid the deposit and first month’s rent on a studio apartment furnished with supplies to care of her newborn. Nancy’s journey includes many highs and lows and through it all, Nancy recounts many other instances where LAYC and its staff stepped in and provided guidance and support. And while she notes that the staff’s names and faces may have faded from her memory, their actions have stayed with her and guided her on her path.

Today, Nancy is a successful realtor in Washington, DC. She takes pride in finding people their homes and finds gratification in knowing that she has helped someone find a safe and welcoming space of their own.

Nancy has been a consistent supporter of LAYC, generously donating to LAYC’s annual Gala for numerous years. When asked why she gives back to LAYC, Nancy says, “As alumni it pays to give back. When I give back it’s rewarding to know that someone else will benefit from LAYC’s resources. As the saying goes, one hand washes the other, and the other the entire city.”

Thank you so much for your support of LAYC’s homeless youth programs. As the new president & CEO of LAYC, I am honored to continue this vital work that’s integral to our mission. Please consider donating to help more young people like Nancy become vital forces in their community.

Gracias,

Lupi Quinteros-Grady
President & CEO

Jun 5, 2018

Meet Sache!

Sache, outside LAYC's Drop-In Center
Sache, outside LAYC's Drop-In Center

Dear Friend,

Sache is a young person experiencing homelessness who has found refuge at LAYC’s Drop-In Center for homeless youth. Here is her story:

My name is Sache, and my nickname is Tripp. I relocated from Alabama in January 2018 and have been fighting homelessness for the past two years. I have bounced around shelters, and faced discriminated because of my sexual orientation.

 I came to LAYC Drop-In Center at the beginning of March and met my case manager, Taylor. Taylor is very nice and is very helpful. She is always willing to drop everything that she is doing and help me with whatever I am going through. She always make sure that she speaks to me personally every time I come in.

The Drop-In Center has introduced me to many other resources in the city, and to many different people that I don’t think I would have met. Now, I have a lot of exposure to employment opportunities. With the help of the Drop-In Center, I now have a stable place to live.

Thank you so much for your support of LAYC’s homeless youth programs. As the new President & CEO of LAYC, I am honored to continue this vital work that’s integral to our mission. Please consider donating to help more young people like Sache.

Gracias,

Lupi 

 
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