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LAYC Youth Learn About Biases Thru Music PDF Print
Monday, 26 January 2015 16:43
LAYC youth learn about biases through musical instruments. Photo Credit: SPACEs Project

LAYC youth learn about biases through musical instruments. Photo Credit: SPACEs Project

by Adam Angel, Montgomery County Conservation Corps Program Manager

Silver Spring, MD; January 16, 2015 — Montgomery County Conservation Corps (MCCC) youth took part in an “implicit bias” training that challenged what they think they believe about how they decide on their preferences. Facilitator, Dushaw Hockett, from Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACES) discussed the brain science behind bias in his workshop entitled “Got Bias?” As an introductory exercise, the group of about 20 MCCC youth divided into small groups to compose short, instrumental selections using brass, percussion and other instruments. They then drew parallels between the music experience and the way that unconscious biases play out in everyday life. The argument put forth to the students to accept or reject was that we all have bias as a natural part of our human nature, and we must challenge our first preferences for people and things. These preferences when connected with positions of power and larger systems like the media, schools and courts allow groups of people unfair advantages especially where equity is directly related to the livelihood and well-being of people. MCCC youth reflected on their own possible preferences and committed to think through their first reactions. MCCC also discussed with youth ways to dismantle the systemic biases in society.

MCCC youth are working towards their GED, job readiness, and personal self-growth as they embark on a journey between five and 15 months. During this time, they are given not only what they need in terms of experience and education for the environmental and construction fields, but also the soft skills needed to navigate the 21st century workplace. Read more about MCCC here.

Congratulations to 10 Fall New Futures Scholars PDF Print
Friday, 19 December 2014 10:55

LAYC is proud to annoounce the fall 2014 New Futures Scholarship recipients. This fall, LAYC submitted 15 applicants to New Futures to be considered for the scholarship. Out of the 15 LAYC applicants, we are thrilled to announce that 10 LAYC youth have been awarded a scholarship to pursue their college goals! Congratulations to the winners!

Fall 2014 New Futures Scholarship Recipients:

  • Josue Duran (Career Academy/Bard Alumni): Comp Networking IT Certificate-$5,500
  • Andrea Hernandez (NextStep): AA in Graphic Design-$6,400
  • Ifechi Igwulu (MMYC/Americorps): AA in Early Childhood Education- $6,400
  • Eloy Kapote (NextStep): AA in Accounting-$6,400
  • Jose Ricardo Membreno Pinedo (Career Academy/Bard): AA in Electrical Engineering-$6,400
  • Joselin Nieto: (Career Academy): AA in Nursing-$6,400
  • Marie Negrin (2nd time Scholarship Recipient): AA in Fashion Merchandising-$2,400
  • Manuel Sibrian (2nd time Scholarship Recipient/MMYC): BA in Criminal Justice- $6,400
  • Juan Jose Sanchez (Career Academy/Bard): AA in Computer Science-$6,400
  • Karla Sorto: (Career Academy/Bard): AA in Nursing-$6,400

LAYC/New Futures Fall 2014 Scholars Total Awarded: $59,100

LAYC Youth Take on Homelessness and Gentrification PDF Print
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 17:05

 LAYC's housing and AmeriCorps programs teamed up with E.L. Haynes High School and the community group ONE DC to put on a community learning service project. With over 75 people in attendance, the event took on the inter-related issues of homelessness, gentrification, and displacement, all of which are huge realities for our center's youth. We started the day with a morning of education: participants watched a short film on the problem,and then broke up into small groups to share personal accounts of how displacement affects their lives and communities. The group reconvened to analyze why gentrification happens in the DC area as well as who benefits and who suffers from this process.

In the latter part of the day, the participants split into two groups to do something about the issues. One group went to the Barry Farms community in Southeast DC to inform residents of their rights as renters in resisting displacement from this hotly contested real estate. The other group dispersed to neighborhoods in Northwest DC to photograph how changes are happening around the quadrant.

As a closing, the groups came together at LAYC to share photos and accounts of their encounters. It was a day full of moving stories and inspiring ideas of how to take on the issues of homelessness, gentrification, and displacement through collaboration and organized action.

See more photos of the service project on Facebook

LAYC Dance-a-thon 2014 Raises $12K for Homeless Youth Programs PDF Print
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:17

Bachata, merengue, zumba...oh my! Over 300 supporters joined us on the morning of Saturday, November 14 for the 2nd Annual LAYC Dance-a-thon. Dancers of all ages came together at Wilson Senior High School to raise over $12,000 for LAYC programs that serve homeless youth. The LAYC Dance-a-thon seeks to raise awareness and funding for homeless youth during November each year, which is National Youth Homelessness Awareness Month.

LAYC youth Tyvon emceed the dance-a-thon, which kicked off with a dance performance by the Wilson dance team. LAYC case manager Heryca Serna led the crowd in a series of zumba moves, and the Princess Mhoon Dance Institute dancers added modern dance to the mix of Latin beats, line dancing, and top 40. The dancers enjoyed door prizes, snacks, and a very good workout.

Special Thanks: The LAYC Dance-a-thon relies on the commitment of its supporters, the community, and business partners to make it a success. For the second year, Wilson Senior High School held the event in its beautiful atrium, and once again EMD Sales Inc provided snacks. New supporters this year included Geico and the CALPRO Group.

See pictures from the 2nd Annual LAYC Dance-a-thon o Facebook. 

LAYC Proud to Receive $300K from Thrive Foundation for Youth PDF Print
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 12:16

LAYC has been awarded a $300,000 grant by the Thrive Foundation for Youth to support LAYC’s mission of empowering a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths' social, academic, and career needs. LAYC was selected along with seven other youth-serving organizations from around the U.S., based on its proven track record of directly impacting youth in the communities it serves. The two-year, unrestricted grant will support LAYC’s work in the field of positive youth development.

LAYC is proud to support the mission of The Thrive Foundation for Youth, and to work alongside our fellow grantees, which include some of the most innovative, impactful youth-serving organizations in the country.

Thrive selected grantees based on their demonstrated impact, entrepreneurial, and effective approach to reaching disadvantaged youth. Each one demonstrated the ability to provide comprehensive programming and meaningful learning experiences based on a keen knowledge of youth needs. All eight grantees have professional staff members who serve as the primary “caring adult” in their day-to-day lives, and are role models who provide a consistent, compassionate and trustworthy presence. Collectively, these organizations currently impact the lives of approximately 15,000 young people throughout the United States.

For more details, please see the Thrive Foundation's press release and  grantee website.

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