Cecilia Dos Santos is LAYC’s special projects manager and in-house guru on immigration issues. She is also the number one fan of six-year-old immigration activist Sophie Cruz.
Cecilia started her career at LAYC as a program coordinator for a new domestic violence prevention program in 2013. She developed LAYC’s Healthy Relationships program, including prevention trainings for staff and youth. One of her initiatives was the Bake and Chat after-school program for girls in the DC Teen Center, which offered a bilingual space for baking, socializing, and discussing issues important to the participants.
In 2015, Cecilia transitioned to her current role as special projects manager and executive assistant to the President & CEO Lori Kaplan. In this capacity, Cecilia manages a multiplicity of special projects for programs, fundraising, communications, and advocacy, in addition to supporting Lori Kaplan and the Board of Directors, and serving as the point of contact for the Associate Board.
Perhaps her most visible role is that of founding member of LAYC’s DREAMER staff committee, where she helped establish the LAYC DREAMER Scholarship for youth who qualify for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or are in need of other immigration support. As our resident immigration advocacy champion, Cecilia fosters partnerships with volunteer attorneys and legal aid organizations, organizes LAYC groups for rallies, and keeps program staff aware of immigration policies and news that could affect our youth. Most recently, Cecilia led the creation of our #HeretoStay banner, which is covered in the hand prints and hopes and dreams of LAYC youth.
Cecilia may wear many hats at LAYC, but under it all is a persistent belief that youth, no matter their immigration status, deserve equal protections and opportunities to succeed in our country. Cecilia, it is a true pleasure to work with you every day and be a witness to your commitment to LAYC and a better world for all of us.