Since its inception, LAYC has helped low-income youth make a successful transition to young adulthood, and this includes developing a healthy body and mind. Latino and African-American low-income adolescents are at higher risk than their peers of other ethnicities for substance use, unsafe sexual practices resulting in STIs and pregnancy, and obesity—all of which have detrimental developmental and social consequences. These young people also have limited access to culturally sensitive, youth-friendly, and affordable health, counseling, and medical services.
LAYC’s health and wellness programs address the complex health needs of low-income youth. Our skilled staff provides services in a bilingual and culturally appropriate environment. At our sites in DC and Maryland, young people can obtain free mental health and substance use counseling, and STI, HIV, and pregnancy testing in our DC site. Our DC site also offers parenting classes to young parents. LAYC’s long-standing cooperation with area schools allows us to place staff in partner schools to provide pregnancy/ STI education. Many health and wellness programs offer a peer education and leadership component that enables youth to teach what they have learned and to organize community events.
In addition, LAYC is proud to host the DC Prevention Center Wards 1 & 2, an initiative of the District of Columbia Department Behavioral Health to strengthen and mobilize communities to prevent substance abuse amongst youth.