The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC)

The Latin American Youth Center's (LAYC) mission is to empower a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood, through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths social, academic, and career needs.

For 45 years, LAYC has been committed to transforming the lives of low-income young people and their families. LAYC offers multi-service, comprehensive, and bilingual enrichment, prevention, and intervention programs and opportunities in education, workforce readiness, housing, community building, mental health services, arts, and healthy recreation to over 4,000 individuals each year.

LAYC has special expertise in serving underserved youth, low-income teen parents, homeless youth, youth in foster care and juvenile justice systems, and youth facing mental health, substance abuse, or complex family issues.

While LAYC initially worked with Latino youth of diverse backgrounds, today all youth Latino, African American, African are supported by LAYC at sites in the District of Columbia and Maryland's Prince George's and Montgomery Counties.

The Center for Community Engagement and Service

As an institution, American University is committed to advancing social justice and civic responsibility, and we're at the front lines of that effort. At the Center for Community Engagement & Service or CCE&S we lead the AU community into the world to serve. From projects around DC to trips abroad, we stand with a university dedicated to improving lives in our global community.We support any member of the AU family trying to become engaged in social issues. Alternative Breaks offer domestic and international field experience to students and staff, while our DC Reads program allows students to improve literacy in Washington, DC. Our Freshman Service Experience pairs hundreds of in-coming students with DC's many nonprofit organizations, connecting these students through service with their new home and the issues facing it.Over 2000 AU undergraduate students volunteer each year, and there's still more work to be done. If you're already a member of the AU community, we invite you to help advance our campaign for social justice and civic engagement. If you're considering AU for your studies, we hope you'll join us at a university that truly puts ideas into action and action into service. Click here to find out more.


Here in Washington, DC, as many as 20% of our residents lack the literacy skills they need to earn a living wage, fully engage in civic affairs, access information about health and safety issues, or wholly exercise their legal and civil rights. Moreover, low adult literacy skills imperil future generations, because parents play the central role in the transfer of literacy skills from one generation to the next.

D.C. LEARNs is Washington’s literacy coalition. We are working for adult, child, and family literacy programs here in the District to raise public awareness of literacy issues, recruit volunteers, provide outreach to new learners, and provide the materials, research, training, and technical assistance needed to raise the quality of literacy services available to D.C. residents.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue for Philanthropy takes the guesswork out of giving by identifying the best community-based charities in Washington D.C. and nearby Maryland and Virginia. Our network of more than 350 vetted charities is made up of organizations with budgets below $3 million that serve the environment, arts, education and human services throughout Greater Washington. And we don’t just stop with producing our annual print catalogue: we also create resources and run educational workshops for our charities, elevating their capacity to do good here, where we live. Since 2003, our inaugural year, the Catalogue for Philanthropy has raised over $22 million dollars for the Washington DC region. We charge no fees and raise funds separately to support our work. To learn more about our process (such as how we vet, select and educate our nonprofits), click here.