Mission: Incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) in 1974, the Latin American Youth Center was founded by first-generation Latino immigrants in 1969 to address a void of culturally sensitive programs targeting an emerging Latino community in the District of Columbia. LAYC has evolved, in response to need, into a client-centered multi-cultural, multi-service center which today serves over 3,500 youth and families annually. LAYC''s vision is of a world with strong youth in strong families with strong futures. This vision feeds LAYC''s mission to support youth and families in their determination to live, work, and study with dignity, hope, and joy.
Programs: LAYC is an innovative non-profit that has founded three public charter schools; fostered social entrepreneural ventures; and created unique and valued partnerships among community based organizations, corporations, and family foundations. What started as a small voluntary single service site has evolved into a year-round, nationally recognized, multi-service youth and family development center with a 30 + -year history of unparalleled service. Most recently, LAYC began replicating its successful model in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland. LAYC remains grounded in its commitment to youth development, defined as guiding youth through a process of holistic self-growth through the provision of services, supports and opportunities to create a safe, culturally sensitive, fun and goal-oriented learning community. A volunteer Board of Directors, including youth and alumni, governs LAYC, which is organized into five program clusters: Educational Enhancement; Social Services; Workforce Investment and Social Enterprises (WISE); Art & Media; and Advocacy & Public Policy. LAYC operates six days a week, except for residential programs, which operate 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
My experience at the LAYC was extremely rewarding. The LAYC UB program provided with a lot of college information, and prepared for my post-secondary education. My experience was fun, met life-long friends and provided with the necessary tools to survive in college :-)
The Latin American Youth Center does so much for the youth of DC and MD. They have so many programs a young person can take part in. The staff are hardworking, high performance, caring youth development professionals. I love the organization.