Our Work Continues (2011 – 2016)

Today, we work with over 4,000 youth and families in Washington, DC, and Maryland’s Prince George’s Counties at four sites and dozens of service points through partner schools and organizations. We are guided by our vision for a future where all youth pursue their dreams, reach their goals, and acquire the skills and self-confidence to live a life of purpose, connection, contribution, and joy.


Center for Educational Partnership 10 Year AnniversaryLAYC celebrates 10 years of serving the Riverdale, Maryland community at the University of Maryland’s Center for Educational Partnership with Senator Paul Pinsky, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, and University of Maryland Office of Community Engagement Director Gloria Aparicio Blackwell.
Montgomery County Commission on Children and Youth awards LAYC the Nancy Dworkin Award for Outstanding Service to Youth.

LAYC releases “Solutions for Youth: An Evaluation of the Latin American Youth Center’s Promotor Pathway®” at the Urban Institute and created the Promotor Pathway® National Network.

The American Youth Policy Forum awards LAYC youth Ebony Rempson with the Samuel Halperin Youth Public Service Award for outstanding commitment to public service and education.


DC Action for Children awards LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan the Children’s Champion Award.

LAYC youth visit Attorney General Eric Holder
Photo courtesy of the Department of Justice.

National Council of La Raza (NCLR) recognizes LAYC with the LGBTQ Champion Award in recognition of exemplary work in serving the LGBTQ and ally community.

Attorney General Eric Holder meets with LAYC youth at the Department of Justice for a dialogue on police, youth, and community issues.

National Park Service, Rock Creek Park names LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan to Green Ribbon Panel.


Hispanic Heritage Foundation presents LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan with the Hispanic Business Community, Community Champion Award.

Hispanic Business Community Awards
Photo courtesy of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

The Washington Informer selects LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan with the Influencer’s Award in recognition of positive influence on the Washington area.

Emergence Community Arts Collective awards LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan the In Her Honor award.

LAYC present at President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper signing event at the White House.

Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal profiles the LAYC Career Academy in New School Designs and Innovative Educational Models.


Washington Post, How Crunching Big Data can Save a Child, highlights LAYC’s performance measurement system.

Capital One Bank, in partnership with the Heart of America Foundation Investment in Literacy, bestows a new library to LAYC.

Chelsea Clinton profiles Elmer Diaz, LAYC Promotor, in Huffington Post, Reclaiming America’s Youth and Recovering our Economy, part of a series in recognition of the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting at which Diaz and LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan presented.


Montgomery County ProclamationLAYC is the beneficiary of the first annual Montgomery County Hispanic Celebration on September 28, and LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan received a Proclamation honoring her work with Hispanic youth.

LAYC’s Promotor Pathway and success story of youth participant are highlighted in the blog of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.

LAYC launches fourth public charter school, LAYC Career Academy, an innovative model of college credits, AP-style classes, a rigorous and flexible GED, college preparatory curriculum, and career preparation in the health care and information technology fields.

LAYC is selected as one of the 100 most impactful organizations by the Social Impact Exchange, a national index of nonprofits creating social impact.

TedxAdamsMorgan “Forces of Change” talk features LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan.

Economic Club of Washington D.C. awards grant to LAYC in honor of the Economic Club’s 25th anniversary.


LAYC’s Art + Media House 2nd Nature program, a collaboration with the National Park Service of the National Capital Region, receives the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award.

MMYC receives Best Corps Award by National Council of La Raza and Corps member José Ortez receives the Raul Yzaguirre Outstanding AmeriCorps Member of the Year Award.

Photo courtesy of the Department of the Interior.
Photo courtesy of the Department of the Interior.

DC Mayor Vincent Gray named DC AmeriCorps member Verónica Vásquez an outstanding member during National AmeriCorps Week.

Washington Post names LAYC a finalist for the Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.

White House Social Innovation Fund selects LAYC in the initiative to leverage support for high-performing nonprofits. LAYC participates through Venture Philanthropy Partners youthCONNECT project, which supports the Promotor Pathway® for disconnected youth.

Expanding Our Reach (2001–2010)

We continue to identify gaps in services and areas of need and launch two public charter schools in DC, expand our operations into Maryland, and open a residential facility for young families. We launch our signature model for youth development, the Promotor Pathway®, and establish a learning and evaluation office. Our work in Maryland and with AmeriCorps begins to garner national recognition.


LAYC AmeriCorps program is selected for national recognition by the Corporation for National and Community Service and featured in Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovative AmeriCorps State Programs in the United States.


LLAYC New York Times ArticleAYC is featured in the New York Times, April 18, 2009, front-page article “Re-made in America” series focused on one young woman’s efforts to earn her GED and the assistance she received from LAYC’s Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers in Langley Park. The piece offered an important perspective on issues faced by youth in suburban communities.

Hope’s House opens, LAYC’s residential facility for teen parents and their children under the age of five. Hope’s House is the District’s only residence providing bilingual services to teen parents.


LAYC’s Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers receives the Spirit of Excellence Award from National Gang Crime Research Center, and Maryland Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs Hispanic Heritage Award in recognition of commitment to the Hispanic community.

LAYC launches the Promotor Pathway®, LAYC’s innovative model for working with youth with the greatest barriers to success.

LAYC selected from among 6,000 users as one of the two most effective users of Efforts-to-Outcomes performance management software.

President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities selects LAYC’s Art + Media House as “one of the top arts and humanities-based programs in the country serving youth beyond the school-hours.”


MMYC Silver Spring Open HouseLAYC expands into Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties establishing the Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers (MMYC) in three sites: Langley Park, Riverdale, and Silver Spring.

LAYC launches its third public charter school, YouthBuild Public Charter School. Extending LAYC’s successful YouthBuild program, the new charter school combines academics with construction training and leadership development to prepare students for college or the workplace. Fifty-five students are in the first class.

LAYC establishes a learning and evaluation department to track outcomes and improve programs.


LAYC presented by Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia with Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Latino Community.

LAYC receives Consortium for Child Welfare award as Outstanding Agency of the Year.


LAYC receives Annie E. Casey Foundation National Honors Program, Families Count award.


LAYC Ben & Jerry's Partner ShopLAYC establishes a second public charter school, the Latin American Montessori Bilingual (LAMB) Public Charter School, the first public and bilingual Montessori school in the District of Columbia and the second in the country.

LAYC receives DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Conversation Changers award.

LAYC opens a Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop in Eastern Market employing over 28 youth in the first year and actively developing our capacity in the area of social enterprise.

Building Our Foundation (1968 – 1998)

With overwhelming support from community youth, volunteers and parents, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) began as a multicultural youth and family development center in the District of Columbia serving Latino youth, while serving as a bridge to the wider youth community.


LAYC Future HomeLAYC moves into its present DC site at 1419 Columbia Road NW. For the first time in many years, all of LAYC’s programs are under one roof.

LAYC establishes its first public charter school, the Next Step Public Charter School, to meet the needs of recently arrived students of the District of Columbia, teen parents, and other youth who were not having their needs met in the regular public school system.


Washingtonian Magazine names LAYC President & CEO Lori Kaplan Washingtonian of the Year.


LAYC YouthBuildLAYC receives its first federal grant for job training through AmeriCorps and YouthBuild.


LAYC receives its first U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to establish a YouthBuild program.

Early 90s

LAYC creates programs to address Latino gang violence and drugs that are beginning to become endemic to the neighborhood, housing for runway and homeless Latino youth, and a program to assist teen mothers.


LAYC launches programs designed to promote youth leadership and advocacy and creates a social services and mental health counseling program to assist traumatized immigrant youth arriving in DC after fleeing the civil wars engulfing Central America.

Lori Kaplan becomes the Executive Director of the Latin American Youth Center.

Early 80s

Mural paintingLAYC provides opportunities to youth to express themselves through art by drawing on local Latino artists. Youth paint street murals, publish a monthly newspaper for the emerging Latino community, and perform street theater.


Funding from the DC Department of Employment Services allows LAYC to launch youth training programs in automobile mechanics, catering, and clerical skills. Job training expands to include classes in English as a Second language to help Latino youth obtain a GED, access after-school and summer employment opportunities.


LAYC receives 501 (c) (3) status permitting it to seek funding as a nonprofit entity and moves to the Wilson Center on 15th and Irving Streets NW where it remains until the late 1990s.


LAYC is founded to address the absence of services for the emerging Latino community offering educational and vocational activities in after school and in the summer at several locations in the community.