Home >> News >> Latest News
Full Circle Mentoring Program in Silver Spring Pairs Young Men with Middle School Boys PDF Print
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 18:06

By Amber Morse, Full Circle Brotherhood Program Coordinator

First order of business at Full Circle Brotherhood gatherings is homework.

First order of business at Full Circle Brotherhood gatherings is homework.

We're excited to share our newest program in Silver Spring, the Full Circle Brotherhood (FCB) mentoring program. FCB targets young men in our Montgomery County Conservation Corps (MCCC) and offers mentorship support to middle school aged boys from White Oak Middle School. In partnership with YMCA Youth and Family Services and the Gandhi Brigade, the program aims to encourage, support, and empower local youth to lead a healthier life through positive youth development and mentorship. What makes FCB unique is that the program follows a group mentoring model of mentorship.

Mentors meet with mentees twice a week. One of those days, the program focuses on teamwork through recreational activities such as soccer, basketball, and kickball that help us increase their interpersonal skills. Mentors also provide workshops for mentees that focus on real life issues. Who to better guide our youngest and easily influenced youth than young adults of similar backgrounds and ethnicities.

Alejandro, 12, likes the program because it's "fun and energetic."  On a more serious note, he adds, "I've learned about the importance of trust and respect. My mentor is nice and I can trust him." 

FCB understands that after school hours are a prime time for engaging young people. Our programming offers a safe space where they can learn and grow, form lasting friendships, have fun, and be enriched by a curriculum that fosters:

  • Knowledge of self, creative expression
  • Respect and empathy for one's peers, families and communities
  • Healthy relationships and lifestyle choices
  • Individual and collective responsibility within and beyond the program
Mentor Alexander Terc, 21, shares a timeout with mentee Alejandro, 12.

Mentor Alexander Terc, 21, shares a timeout with mentee Alejandro, 12.

With FCB, the young mentors are striving to live more consciously, having defined manhood, brotherhood, and leadership and applying it to everyday life. They are also are working towards their GED, job readiness, and personal self-growth as they embark on a journey of mentorship. They are a profound example of the cycle of leadership.

"I get to be around these youth and help them choose a better route in life," says Alexander Terc, 21, about his participation as a mentor in FCB. "I didn't get to enjoy my childhood, so I'm reliving it through them." Alexander recently passed the GED exam through MCCC and is completing a two-month internship at World, Beats, & Life, a nonprofit that uses a hip-hop as an approach to youth and community development including public art and teaching music and media.

For more information about the Full Circle Brotherhood program, please contact the program coordinator, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at (301) 495-0441 x240.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 February 2015 18:29
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.

Last Updated on Monday, 26 January 2015 17:29
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

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 December 2014 17:48
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. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 22:05
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 29