Anthony Young (pictured right) testified April 7, 2011, at the Montgomery County FY12 Operating Budget Hearing on behalf of LAYC’s Montgomery County programs. Anthony, who is studying for his GED at our Montgomery County site, was accompanied by two other GED students, Jorge Villalobos (left) and Andrea Flipe (middle).
Here is Anthony’s complete testimony:
My name is Anthony Young. I am 19 years old. I am a student at the LAYC/Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers (MMYC) in Silver Spring, seeking my GED. I have been in the MMYC program for six months. My ultimate goal is to obtain my GED and go to college.
In the six months with MMYC, I have learned more than I ever did in high school. Prior to my experience with MMYC, it was hard for me to learn in a traditional high school and I often made poor decisions. I dropped out of school and began drinking and partying with my peers. This period was difficult for me because I didn’t have someone in my face to guide and push me.
I realized I needed a change and something better for myself along with more individual guidance. I enrolled in the MMYC program seeking more support. Soon enough I saw that the instructor and staff at MMYC provided a smaller more inclusive environment to learn. The staff were very supportive and have helped me set goals and structure for learning. I see the MMYC staff as a big part of my life because they are present for more than just education; they help me with my career goals and they are there emotionally when I need them. I have benefited tremendously. Without the program I probably would not be on the path I’m on at this point.
Now that I am in an environment with more support, I feel a lot closer to achieving my goals. I plan on taking my GED test this weekend, passing it and then moving toward the next steps in my college and career path.
The staff has helped me to overcome a lot of barriers in my life and now I can confidently set more goals for my future. Today I am here with some of my peers who are also benefiting from this program. Please continue to support youth like me by providing funding to the MMYC. Thank you.