January 2014 Youth Spotlight: Mohamed Deen

When Mohamed Deen immigrated to the U.S. from Sierra Leon at the tender age of 10, he saw his new life as a blank page he quickly wanted to fill with his ideas. Fast forward 14 years and Mohamed’s life has taken a literal approach to filling the blank page. A graduate of LAYC’s YouthBuild Public…

December 2013 Youth Spotlight: Jonathan Williams

“I ain’t got nowhere to go,” Jonathan Williams remembers thinking at 15 years old, having been forced out onto the street after his mother passed away. He spent the next six years homeless. At the beginning, he made some quick cash transporting a package. His first thought was not finding a motel room or even…

November 2013 Youth Spotlight: Rashad Burns

Suited up, put together, self-confident, and determined, Rashad walks the halls of Roosevelt Senior High School, all the while leaving no trace of the struggles he has overcome with his extraordinary resilience to reach this high point in his life. “I had to grow up really, really fast,” he reflects, in light of the absence…

October 2013 Youth Spotlight: Brian Garcia

The opportunity of a full-time job brought Brian Garcia, 20, to LAYC’s AmeriCorps education team, where we worked at Powell Elementary School as a teacher’s aide. Now in his second year as an AmeriCorps member, he aspires to become a teacher. “I met a third grader named Oscar who didn’t speak any English. At the…

February 2013 Youth Spotlight: Anaissa Escobar

By Anaissa Escobar, Puentes Youth Leader On Tuesday, February 12, I had the opportunity to testify before Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker at a budget hearing. I shared my story on how I overcame depression thanks to counseling. I advocated for more mental health services for youth and families of Prince George’s County. In…

Youth Voices Spotlight: Advocacy Days

  By: Sharon Hernandez, Puentes Youth Leader Earlier during the month, on March 7-8, I along with dozens of youth from the Latin American Youth Center/Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers at Langley Park, Riverdale and Silver Spring, participated in the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Latino Advocacy Days in Washington, DC. Over 30 youth leaders…