The Latin American Youth Center lifts up youth even on spooky days

In the spirit of Halloween, we wanted to share a fun story of how our partners at the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)/ Maryland Multicultural Youth Center (MMYC) used materials donated by the Forklift. LAYC’s mission is to empower youth, ages 11-24, to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs, all while providing a safe space for youth to learn, grow, and feel supported.

Earlier this month, AmeriCorps members and LAYC staff held their 10th Annual Haunted House for students and community members in Riverdale, Maryland.

In preparation to their event, Alyson Moore, LAYC’s Educational Programs Manager, stopped by our warehouse to pick out a couple of items to add to the house’s décor, including test tubes and a vintage headboard. She was able to get all of the items free of charge, thanks to our Community Building Blocks (CBB) Program.

Their annual haunted house is no small feat, and makes a big impact on their community. As Alyson explains:

Within the last few years, the weeks leading up to Halloween consisted of vandalism and illicit activities by the youth, so LAYC uses the Haunted House to provide youth and community with a safe and enjoyable outlet. Over 1,000 attendees including families, community members and volunteers celebrated Halloween in a safe and engaging space. Prior to the event, members met and discussed props, decorations, logistics, outreach, and fundraising. Over 100 local high school students volunteered to become actors while earning community service hours.”

When we asked her ‘What inspires you about working at LAYC?’ she shared:

“LAYC is one of the most inspiring places I have ever worked. I am inspired by the youth and families that we work with, and my coworkers who share a passion for service and a belief in the power of young people to create change. Our young people prove every day that it is not their circumstances that define them, it’s their attitude. I am inspired by the courage, perseverance, energy and determination of so many of our participants. Their energy is contagious, and it is hard not to be inspired being around them.”

We hope that the LAYC/MMYC continues their work within the community, and we’re always excited to support their programs. We want to give thanks to our CBB partner for sharing their cause and pictures.

Hope you had a very happy Halloween!