“Rosa Delmy and Jose did a great job representing LAYC and ourwork. They made a great case for county government funding,” said MMYC Director, Luisa Montero.
Jose Ortez’ Testimony:
Before joining MMYC, I was a high school dropout. But, I realized that my life was unstable andI wanted to better myself. A friend toldme about a place where I could get my GED. So, I went there and met with two GED instructors. After realizing I wasserious, they allowed me to enroll in the MMYC’s Fall 2009 GED classes.
During that time in my life, I wasn’t getting much supportfrom anyone in my life. However, thatall changed after I enrolled in MMYC’s GED classes. I learned so much from my GED classes andsubmitted my 2009 FASFA application. Even when I didn’t think I was going to be able to learn everything,they pushed me harder and never gave up on me. They kept asking how they could help me. I felt loved.
In 2009, I applied for and was accepted to the MMYC’s Workforce Investment Act (“WIA”) program. Through WIA’s job readiness trainings, Ilearned how to build my resume and cover letters, as well as, apply andinterview for jobs. Feeling confidentand prepared, I applied for and was selected to be an AmeriCorps member. Basically, the MMYC helped me developprofessionally and got me started on my career path.
As an AmeriCorps member, I am able to be of service toothers and give back to the community. During my first year as a member, I was selected to be a part of theNational Council De La Raza’s (“NCLR”) Young Lideres Committee. I was also selected to attend the 2010 NCLRNational Conference. Lastly, I wasawarded a national recognition for service in AmeriCorps and I participated inan NCLR Young Leaders training.
As a second year AmeriCorps member, I was chosen tocoordinate the MMYC’s 2010 Pre-Service training. I also organized the MMYC’s 2009 and 2010Haunted House Fundraisers, as well as, our Cesar Chavez and Earth Dayevents. Further, I attended the 2011NCLR National Latino Advocacy Day Conference, learning how to effectivelyadvocate for my community on issues such as education and immigration.
In closing, I would like to thank the MMYC staff for helpingme, help myself. They believed in me andI appreciate their guidance and direction. I am enrolled in Prince George’s Community College and will beginclasses this Fall. I hope to get adegree in Computer Science and Business. I have recommended MMYC’s programs to my friends and, as a result, someare getting their GED. Without MMYC’sprograms, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am proof that their programs are successful and can improve people’slives. I strongly believe that there isa need for the MMYC’s programs because there are many youth like me that needsupport and the motivation to better themselves and be productive members ofour society.
Rosa Delmy Alvayero’s Testimony
Good Evening. My name is Rosa Delmy Alvayero, and I am Workforce Program Coordinator at the Maryland Division of the Maryland Multicultural Youth Center (MMYC) in Prince George’s County. We are grateful for this opportunity to provide input to the formulation of the county’s 2012 budget. Latin American Youth Center/Maryland is a multi-jurisdictional youth development organization with two sites in Prince George’s County – Langley Park and Riverdale – serving over 650 youth annually, ages 11 to 24 with a variety of in-school and out-of-school programs. Some include GED, job preparation, internships, summer camps, tutoring, gang prevention, counseling, and case management, Our youth are from low income families, 70% Latino, 25%, are African American. 55% were born in the US and the rest were born abroad.
The County Government’ssupport of MMYC is critical to our ability to serve those youth who havedropped out of school, who are pregnant or already parenting, who are fightingsubstance abuse, poor career prospects, gang involvement and violence,depression and suicide. County funding fromthe Administration for Family Services, Prince George’s EconomicDevelopment Corporation and the Maryland Capital Parks and Planning Commission allowed us this past year toleverage more than $1.2 million dollars – 70% of our Prince George’s County budget.
This $1.2 million is funding thatMMYC brought into the county fromstate, federal and private sources outside the county. In order to continue this kind of leveraging,we need the county’s commitment and support. Unfortunately,the amount of funding from Prince George’s County was less this year than theprevious year, forcing us to scale back our LeadersLike Me, an in-school positive decision-making program using the Phoenix gangprevention curriculum, from five schools to two; from reaching over 200 youthto 75 this year. For FY 12, we are also sustaining significant Federal fundingcuts.
On-the-ground programs, likethis gang prevention program, are crucial to ensuring a better future for theCounty’s most vulnerable youth and a more just, equitable and prosperous futurefor this county. We cannot do this without your support. Weknow there are tough decisions to be made in this economic climate. As you make these decisions, we ask that you takeinto consideration the long view: the investment in our future that youradministration can make by supporting programs for the young people of our community.