Miguel is a young person who faced numerous obstacles both during his childhood in Guatemala and after immigrating to the US. This included the loss of family members, extreme poverty, and the discovery that he had a chronic medical condition. Additionally, Miguel spoke only his indigenous Mayan dialect, which led to a considerable language barrier. In spite of these complex challenges, Miguel succeeded in building a new community here in DC. He found a home through LAYC’s transitional living program (TLP). Furthermore, with the support of many caring LAYC staff, he learned English and Spanish, and is thriving at school, work, and in his social life.
Miguel was connected to TLP soon after arriving in the DC area in 2016. With the help of LAYC staff, Miguel began to find opportunities and make connections with other people. He was introduced to individuals at the International Mayan League who spoke his native language and who could help ease his transition to life in the US. He was placed with caring foster parents who helped him in multiple ways, such as learning English words, navigating the Metro, and learning how to use a washing machine. Miguel received other services through LAYC, including case management and counseling, and was connected to critical medical services and a GED program. LAYC staff provided guidance on navigating the school system and complicated health care and legal systems.
Miguel has flourished over the last three years. He now resides in an independent living program and is working. In addition, Miguel continues to manage his medical condition while attending GED classes at Next Step Public Charter School. Though he is no longer involved in LAYC programs, he stops by TLP offices every day to visit with staff. When asked why he keeps coming back to visit, Miguel said he loves chatting with staff. This goes both ways. Any staff member who has ever worked with Miguel is quick to tell you that he is charming, dedicated to his work and schooling, and loved by all who meet him. LAYC’s team is constantly inspired by Miguel’s persistence, resilience, and many achievements. Miguel’s story could have been one of struggle, isolation, and loss. Instead, because of his bravery, determination, and love, along with the care, guidance, and support of LAYC staff and other members of his community, it is one of tremendous success. LAYC is proud to share it with you this holiday season.