Each spring, at our gala, the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) honors a community leader who has made a deep and lasting difference to the young people LAYC serves. In 2016, it’s our special pleasure to recognize Donald E. Graham.

Don’s name is synonymous with The Washington Post, which he led for three decades as publisher and chairman. Don is now chairman of the board of Graham Holdings Company. But he has also been a passionate advocate for underserved young people, both in Washington and around the country.

Nearly three years ago, Don co-founded The Dream.US, an advocacy organization that helps undocumented young people go to college when a shortage of money would otherwise prevent them from doing so. He serves as chair of The Dream.US’s board of directors.

Thanks to his leadership, dozens of young people are on the road to good jobs and a place in American society. Don and his co-founders–Henry Munoz III (chairman and chief creative officer of Munoz & Company), Carlos Gutierrez (Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush) and Amanda Bennett (Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist)–have made dreams come true.

The Dream.US identifies academically talented young people who came to the U.S. at an early age. They have all done very well in high school. But for many of them—perhaps most of them—college would not be possible without substantial financial support. The Dream.US expects to make grants to 3,500 of these students over the next ten years. The grants have become known as “Pell Grants for Dreamers.”

Joining Don Graham as honorees and speakers at our 2016 Gala will be Candy Marshall, president of The Dream.US, and Gaby Pacheco, the organization’s program director. Gaby is not only a DREAMer herself, but she led the Trail of Dreams, a four-month-long walk from Miami to Washington to call attention to families who fear deportation. That fear remains a major concern in immigrant communities.

We hope you’ll help make dreams come true on May 4, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. We’re expecting more than 500 people to say thank you and “gracias” to our honorees. Individual tickets and sponsorships are now available. We’d be very grateful if you’d join us as a guest or sponsor. Information can be found on the LAYC Gala Website.

For 48 years, LAYC has helped a diverse population of young people meet their social, academic and career needs through comprehensive, innovative and multi-cultural programs. LAYC is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization.

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