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

Nonprofits and General Operating Funds: Let’s Be the Change We Want to See!

A recent tweet from my friend Amy Nakamoto, Executive Director of DC Scores in Washington, DC, caught my eye: “Gotta LoveThis Guy.” Curious, I opened the link. “General operating funds, admin expenses, and why we NonProfits are our own worst enemies” said it all! Written by Vu Le, Executive Director of the Vietnamese Friendship Association,…

In Memory of Victor Gonzalez and Dr. Samuel Halperin

Recently, two friends of LAYC passed away, Victor Gonzalez and Dr. Samuel Halperin. Victor grew up in Columbia Heights, DC, the community where LAYC’s anchor site is located. As children and teenagers, Victor and his four brothers and sisters participated in LAYC programs. As an adult, Victor became an Advisory Neighborhood commissioner and helped LAYC…

Be the Change You Want to See!

Days go by, and I search in vain for good news in our region. This week, I have some! Community advocacy has produced important changes in education and local service delivery in Prince George’s and Montgomery County. In Prince George’s County, two mothers began the process of creating change. They advocated for pre-school Spanish immersion,…

So now as she fights the good fight…

On March 25, I received an In Her Honor: Celebrating the Service of Women in Pleasant Plains and Park View award from the Emergence Community Arts Collective. The award celebrates the service of women in our community who help build the social and cultural foundations of our neighborhoods. For this award, a wonderful young woman named…

From Grassroots to National Leader with A Little Help from Our Friends

LAYC has grown from a grassroots community organization founded and led by young people to a large and complex, regional, multi-service organization that is a national leader in youth development. Forty-five years ago, LAYC was a drop-in center in Washington DC’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. Today, over 150 staff and 30 AmeriCorps members provide services at…

In Celebration of Black History Month

It is important to celebrate and remember the legacy of the leaders who fought for the rights of the young people who walk through LAYC’s doors every day. Too often, our most courageous leaders may only be a sentence or two in a textbook as students race through history during the school year. Many youth…