Syuri at food bank

Leading through Service

The wind cuts through the crisp air, as over a hundred community members are wrapped around the LAYC/Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers office in Riverdale.  Families are chatting with each other and waiting for the monthly food distribution to begin. The food bank delivery truck arrives, and volunteers spring into action unloading over 6,000 pounds of…

Judith standing inside Esra's Closet

Honoring Esra Bennathan

Judith Nowak was boarding a flight to the U.K. As she got situated in her seat, she peered over to the seat next to hers. An elegant pair of dress shoes on the feet of her seatmate caught her attention. Those shoes belonged to Esra Bennathan. The two introduced themselves and continued to chat for…

Continuing to Uplift Untold Stories

We are pleased to announce that the Sylarn Foundation of Upper Michigan recently committed to supporting our work after hearing about LAYC from a Washington DC resident. The Sylarn Foundation contribution helped make possible scholarships for the writers of Voces Sin Fronteras. The graphic memoir capturing the stories of their own personal immigration stories was…

The Circle of Giving

When Jada came to LAYC as a high school senior, she was working two jobs and focused on being a parent to three younger siblings. She had no parental support, faced many difficulties at school, had low self-esteem, and felt hopeless and defeated. “I didn’t want to live. I felt defeated. I was done. I…

Youth standing by dance studio mirror

LAYC Youth at the Kennedy Center’s REACH Festival

On the banks of the Potomac River, in an elegant performance space with 25-foot high ceilings and white crinkle-textured walls, youth from LAYC’s Teen Center in DC added hundreds of sticky notes to studio mirrors that ran along the length of the room. The notes read: Belonging is smiles and laughter. Belonging means acceptance. I…

A Quick Word with Kandice and Hewan

For many families in DC and Maryland, summer has come to a close and students are back in school. As the first day of school for many LAYC youth approached, the days leading up to the first day of class offered time for reflection. Students had a chance to think about the previous school year,…