Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth

by Latin American Youth Center
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
Together for Hope - COVID-19 Response for Youth
COVID-19 vaccination event
COVID-19 vaccination event

Since the pandemic began, LAYC staff have mobilized to support LAYC youth, their families, and our community at large to provide services such as COVID-19 education and outreach, food and rental assistance, and so much more.

Your support has made it possible for us to secure critical resources and ensure the health and well-being of thousands of families for over a year!

 

LAYC: A COMMUNITY LEADER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID

Internal COVID-19 vaccine education and outreach efforts carried out by our Health Promotions and Community Wellness teams have been nothing short of remarkable; 87% of LAYC staff have already been fully vaccinated.

Our staff have also continued to share COVID-19 information and vaccine updates with LAYC clients and provide COVID-19 screening to youth to promote health and encourage vaccination in our communities. In addition, LAYC’s Prince George’s County, Maryland team hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic this month. Partnering with Luminis Health, we vaccinated 78 youth and their families at a fun summer programming kick-off event!   

I am proud to announce that LAYC’s Health Promotions Team recently joined Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office to continue combatting COVID-19 with the Take the Shot, DC campaign, which aims to provide vaccine education and vaccination opportunities to residents. Our team has already recruited 27 COVID-19 Community Response Corps members to knock on doors to engage residents, primarily in Wards 7 and 8, about the vaccine. 

On June 19th, LAYC and its Community Response Corps members joined the Mayor's Office, DC Hope, DC Health, and American Airlines at a Take the Shot, DC event at Anacostia High School, located in Ward 8, to encourage vaccination.

We are all hoping for better days, but we are encouraged to see the progress we are making, understanding there is still much work to be done.

We cannot continue to support our communities without the support of individuals like you.

With gratitude,
Lupi Quinteros-Grady

COVID-19 vaccination clinic
COVID-19 vaccination clinic
COVID-19 vaccination clinic
COVID-19 vaccination clinic
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Teen Center youth art
Teen Center youth art

Our Teen Center in DC typically offers a safe space for youth to congregate and participate in an array of after-school enrichment opportunities. Despite the physical closure of our Teen Center last March, youth in our Teen Center programs have remained connected and engaged in programming. 

Thanks to supporters like you, we were able to help youth and families transition to virtual engagement by providing laptops, internet hotspots, and technology assistance.

Dedicated staff and youth made virtual programming a success with educational enrichment, arts and media classes, cooking classes, leadership programs, and creative activities such as virtual college tours, museum viewings, and field trips. Check out our Summer Remix participants' impressive creative work in the program culminating magazine project attached to this report.

This Spring, Teen Center staff and youth will jump into exciting programming in collaboration with HumanitiesDC, working on a project to orally and visually document DC history from the 1960s to the present. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased feelings of isolation and uncertainty and LAYC's virtual programming has been critical to maintaining youths' connections to caring adults and building a sense of community. Not only has transitioning to virtual programming been a learning and growth opportunity for our staff and youth, we have realized that, even without coming together in a physical building, we can create a safe space full of community, support, and belonging

Your support has made this possible!

With gratitude,

Lupi Quinteros-Grady
President and CEO

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The holidays are normally a time when families look forward to celebrating and spending time together, but this year is different. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, and youth and families at LAYC continue to feel the strain and hardships that began early this year.

LAYC's mission has never been more clear. Despite the barriers and growing division, we are still here to serve our youth and communities. We do this by stepping in to fill service and resource gaps that have been exacerbated by systemic racism, and by providing opportunities for the healing, belonging, and learning that our young people deserve.

Youth and Community Needs Remain at the Heart of our Work

In the early months of the pandemic, we immediately shifted to responding to increasing essential needs such as food insecurity, rental assistance, and technology/hotspot access needed for distance learning and mental health support.

Youth and family insights and feedback have enabled us to offer solutions that uplift our communities and ensure each person is treated with dignity as families face rising unemployment and economic hardships. 

This moment in time has called me and my colleagues at LAYC to reach out of our comfort zones and serve and respond as essential workers in our community. Like you, we are eager to have this pandemic behind us, and while we hope for the best, we prepare for the long journey towards healing and recovery.

Providing Encouragement and Hope as Programming Continues

Not only did LAYC staff sustain programs and services across all sites and programs this year, they found time this summer to celebrate youth accomplishments and provide much-needed encouragement. For example, they led socially-distanced 20-car graduation parades through each youths’ neighborhood, delivering flowers, diplomas, and cheers, and taking pictures of youth in their caps and gowns.

 “Even though [youth] didn’t have a traditional graduation, they had something, and [they knew] we cared and we were there for them. They really enjoyed it.” - An LAYC Promotor Pathway Program Manager describes the impact of 2020 graduation parades.

Program recruitment and youth check-ins continue, and we are already serving over 500 youth this fall through virtual academic, enrichment, wellness, and workforce programming, as well as safe in-person services such as safe housing support and STI and pregnancy testing. 

Together For Hope

Partnerships, collaboration, and widespread community support have been a source of strength and resiliency this year. The challenges our community is facing will only continue to increase in the coming year but, with your support, LAYC will continue to be an anchor for youth and families, responding to immediate needs while providing supportive learning environments and critical connections to their community. 

Thank you for helping LAYC lift up our community during these challenging times.

Wishing you peace during the holiday season,

 

Lupi Quinteros-Grady 
President and CEO

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Miner, 2020 graduate
Miner, 2020 graduate

As LAYC families continue to navigate challenges stemming from the ongoing pandemic, they are also thinking now about how they will ensure their school-age family members will be prepared for the upcoming school year, whether students will be attending school in person or virtually. This includes elementary through high school students, as well as GED and college students.

Job loss for primary income earners in many households will make it even more difficult to purchase essential school supplies to enable children to keep up with learning in the coming year. So many families are currently unable to afford rent and food, let alone the additional cost of a backpack containing basic school supplies. As schools implement distance learning this year, each student is in need of access to a laptop and internet, which is creating further barriers to learning and more financial stress.

With your help, LAYC staff can provide backpacks, school supplies, essential technology, and wraparound support so that young people can complete their schoolwork and avoid falling behind in their education.

2020 Graduate Highlight:

Before Miner heard about LAYC’s Promotor Pathway® from an existing participant, he was thinking of dropping out of high school, discouraged by a lack of support and mentoring during his education. After he joined the Promotor Pathway, staff helped Miner obtain his driving license, provided informal counseling and access to resources whenever he needed it, and helped him build his self-esteem and improve his communication skills with his parents, to better address educational and personal challenges as they arise. Prior to joining the Pathway, Miner was not interested in continuing his education after high school but he is now graduated, applying for college, and seeking support through the New Futures Scholarship program!  

Your support provides hope and opportunity to thousands of youth like Miner in DC and Maryland each year.

With my heartfelt thanks,

Lupi Quinteros-Grady
President & CEO 

LAYC’s Promotor Pathway® is a long-term client management intervention model for disconnected and disengaged youth facing multiple obstacles that prevent them from accessing resources and achieving educational, employment, and healthy living goals. This evidence based model allows Promotores to work on a one-on-one basis with each youth to remove barriers, proactively encourage participation in a broad set of LAYC services, and connect them to other needed resources within the community so they may make a successful transition to adulthood.
2020 graduate
2020 graduate
Laptop distribution
Laptop distribution

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Michelle
Michelle

LAYC is committed to supporting our youth and families during this pandemic by providing grocery deliveries, hot meal distribution, connecting youth to telemental counseling services, and distributing Chromebooks for distance learning. Virtual programs are being offered to engage youth across all of our programs and reduce their isolation by fostering a sense of community.

We are also participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving responding to the needs caused by COVID-19. 

As I describe in this video, the pandemic has dealt a tremendous blow to our youth and their path to success. For example, Michelle was ready to leave LAYC’s independent living housing program in March. She had graduated school, secured a job, and was securing her first apartment. She had built a solid support system and, for the first time, genuinely felt that she was actually going to make it. Then COVID-19 arrived and disrupted her goal to live in her own apartment.

This crisis has set youth like Michelle back months, if not years, in achieving multiple goals.
In just two months, the unemployment rate among our youth has increased to 62%; in-person education has been disrupted, and youth are further isolated due to social distancing. Our youth and families urgently need food, rental assistance, laptops and communication equipment, mental health support, and other critical resources. You can read more here about the needs of homeless and foster care youth, and how LAYC staff are responding to those needs. 

Youth who were on track to reach their goals have been brought back to a time of instability. Once the immediate crisis has passed, these youth will have a long road of rebuilding, which will require intensive support and time to heal.

On this Giving Tuesday, I hope you will join us in rallying "Together for Hope" to keep our youth and families connected and protected.

Your gift will provide these youth with the support, hope, and encouragement that will enable them to heal and rebuild. 

WIth my deepest gratitude,

Lupi Quinteros-Grady
President & CEO

Continued support for LAYC youth and families
Continued support for LAYC youth and families
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Organization Information

Latin American Youth Center

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Jamie Cotta
Washington, DC United States
$3,931 raised of $5,000 goal
 
36 donations
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