We are pleased to announce that the Sylarn Foundation of Upper Michigan recently committed to supporting our work after hearing about LAYC from a Washington DC resident. The Sylarn Foundation contribution helped make possible scholarships for the writers of Voces Sin Fronteras. The graphic memoir capturing the stories of their own personal immigration stories was released last year by LAYC’s Latino Youth Leadership Council (LYLC). Throughout the process of developing content for the book, the youth received support and guidance from Shout Mouse Press and a team of graphic artists.
Since the book’s release, the Voces Sin Fronteras has received critical acclaim. The book has won the 2019 ‘In the Margins’ Top Nonfiction award. To date, the work has sold close to 5,000 copies, with a portion of the proceeds going to a scholarship fund for the youth writers.
Sebastian is one of our Voces Sin Fronteras scholars. Sebastian has always dreamed of working as a graphic designer. He used his scholarship money to study graphic design at the University of the District of Columbia. During the past summer, Sebastian returned to LAYC and participated in a digital marketing internship between his classes at UDC and his part-time job. Sebastian was pivotal to developing a branding design and strategy for Esra’s Closet.
Rosa is a youth author and scholarship recipient who is entering her last year at Trinity College in an occupational therapy program. In addition to working at Shout Mouse Press as representative helping to book speaking engagements for the youth authors, last summer Rosa had the opportunity to work with LAYC’s Health Promotions department. In this role, she organized events to connect youth with HIV, STI, and pregnancy testing.
Not only are the book’s authors succeeding academically and professionally, they are also excelling as leaders in the community. These youth are continuing to work as advocates for immigrants by sharing their experiences in meetings and speaking engagements, meetings at schools, and discussions online. Through their efforts they are making sure that the stories of immigrant youth do not go untold.