Lori Kaplan is the President & CEO of the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC). She has lead LAYC to its national prominence as an award-winning network of youth programs in Washington DC since 1987.

Under Kaplan’s direction, LAYC has helped guide thousands of low-income youth to better opportunity, while creating pioneering organizations and public charter schools. Kaplan serves on the board of DC Alliance for Youth Advocates, and Youth Radio and Youth Media International, and serves as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative America on the Reconnecting Youth work group. Kaplan has received numerous awards including Washingtonian of the Year in 1997, the Lewis Hine Award for her work on child labor issues, the Children’s Champion award by DC Action for Children, Community Champion Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and being named one of Washington’s 50 influencers by the Washington Informer Charities.

Posts by Lori Kaplan

What it means to receive the Community Champion Award

I was recently honored by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation at their Hispanic Business Community Awards ceremony on October 29 at the Capital One Bank headquarters. Capital One Bank served as the presenting sponsor of the reception and ceremony. I was honored to accept this award as it was a very special evening shared with friends…

October is for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Yesterday, LAYC with many community partners* hosted an event in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The event Speak up, Speak out: Mobilizing Youth for Love and Respect for teens and young adults highlighted the impact of domestic violence among teens. Despite tornado warnings and lots of rain, it warmed my heart to see over…

Happy 25th Anniversary Kids Count!

I remember the first KIDS COUNT document that was released 25 years ago! The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF) was ahead of the times, a pioneer in understanding the importance of data collection and analysis. I remember those early years when community and youth advocates would meet with influential policymakers to tell their stories. Their…

My Thoughts on My Brother’s Keeper

I was very fortunate to have been this past February at the White House when President Obama made the announcement about My Brother’s Keeper. LAYC had two young men standing behind the president during the president’s remarks. President Obama’s speech was personal and moving, and it was a stirring reflection on his own experiences and…

My Thoughts on the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

The news coverage and photos of the children and youth at the U.S.-Mexico border paint the picture of a true humanitarian crisis. These children, the majority from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, are arriving hungry, physically exhausted, having endured severe trauma, and without a safe and stable place to call home. It is hard for…

In Memory of and in Honor of Dr. Sam Halperin

Dr. Sam Halperin recently passed away, and I was honored to share a few words at the celebration of life gathering organized by his family, friends, and colleagues. Sam spent his career in American public education working to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice in education, and youth development.  His groundbreaking 1988 reports…