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
AmeriCorps members in action
AmeriCorps members in action

AmeriCorps is a national community service program, and plays a critical role in LAYC’s support of youth and families. LAYC AmeriCorps members – most of whom grew up in the communities we serve – work in our afterschool programs as teachers’ aides and mentors. As they help students achieve academic goals, AmeriCorps members gain exposure to the fields of education and social work, and gain skills required for positions at LAYC, other community nonprofits, and local school systems. 


LAYC acted on the principle that our families deserve to be treated with dignity and have access to basic needs; from rental and food assistance to diapers and toiletries. We made it clear we would help to provide resources and services to all families we serve.

  • LAYC AmeriCorps members addressed food insecurity. Each week, they helped distribute over 300 boxes of fresh meals provided by local restaurants.
  • LAYC AmeriCorps members creatively adapted academic support for middle and high school youth to virtual formats and distributed laptops to help bridge the technology divide.
  • LAYC AmeriCorps members provided a safe space in which youth could share their worries and encourage one another.  

 

 “It feels really special. You see how they progress from September to July, especially in their English skills. It's really rewarding to see how they grow academically through our afterschool programming and our tutoring. You feel like you've made a difference in their lives and can help them out with their future.”  - Aileen M., LAYC AmeriCorps Member/Afterschool Program Coordinator

 

Thank you for your support which allows LAYC staff and AmeriCorps members to get things done for our community. To learn more check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zWv5izxI44. 

 

 

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LAYC COVID Ambassadors
LAYC COVID Ambassadors

LAYC’s COVID-19 ambassador program, in partnership with the DC Mayor’s COVID-19 Community Corps, came to an end in September. Since June, our ambassadors have worked tirelessly to inform DC residents about the virus, build vaccine confidence in those that are still vaccine hesitant, and help residents protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated.

We are so proud to be able to address the disparities in our community in terms of reduced access to resources, facts about the virus and vaccine, as well as connections to vaccination sites, which is particularly pronounced among communities of color.

“Given the lack of available information about the vaccine, I'm very proud of my team for spreading the right information and trying to help people understand what the vaccine is and how it fights against the virus.” 
- Noemi, LAYC Peer Educator and former LAYC client

In just three months, seven COVID-19 ambassadors were able to get 5,000 people vaccinated through their tabling and canvassing effforts! In addition, they worked hard to address the low youth vaccination rates in DC, visiting local middle and high schools to provide information directly to youth in the community. We are also thrilled to report that our main site in Washington DC is now an approved COVID testing site, providing one more way for us to keep our youth healthy.

Your support has been invaluable to our work promoting community health throughout the pandemic and our team is truly grateful.

Thank you for your continued caring and generosity,

Lupi Quinteros-Grady

LAYC COVID Ambassadors
LAYC COVID Ambassadors
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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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Organization Information

Latin American Youth Center

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Carmen Galvis
Washington, DC United States
$3,981 raised of $5,000 goal
 
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