Latino Youth Development Collaborative LYDC

VISION: Every Latino student has support, tools, and resources to achieve their academic and life goals.

According to nces.ed.gov, MN has the lowest Latino graduation rates in the US! LYDC is a MN non-profit working to reduce this disparity. Their mission is, “to increase and enhance healthy youth development and education success, through family engagement, access, participation, advocacy and leadership.  We promote high school graduation of Latino students and provide access to college preparedness programs.  LYDC provides leadership opportunities for Latino families and Latino youth in order to create a standing relationship between the school system and students and their families.  We provide spaces for Latino students and their families to learn how the education system works and ways they can participate and advocate for the improvement of our education system.”

Last Friday Latino middle and high school students participate in Youth Leadership, Career Exploration, and Civic Engagement activities. Students learn what it takes to become a professional in MN through Latino leaders presentations, organizational skills, preparation for tests, time management, understand how the cities, counties, state, and the country work, how legislators and politicians make decisions, and who influences the decision-making process.

LYDC intentionally brings speakers for families that facilitate the process of defining what success means, options and opportunities students have and are not taking advantage of, taking students and families to activities they usually do not participate, (Extracurricular activities, museums, etc.), recognizing barriers and supporting each other to minimize them, such as transportation, help to complete scholarship applications for afterschool programs.

Families and Promotoras learn about how the educational system works in the USA.  These are some of the topics: Preparing for Parent-Teacher conferences, choosing a school for their students, calculating GPA, Developmental stages of children ages 3 to 21, teen pregnancy prevention, bullying, what is needed to move from one school grade to the next, parent rights and responsibilities in the academic life of their students, importance of attendance, how teachers grade, the transition from elementary school to middle school, from middle to high school, from high school to higher ed, financial education classes, saving for college, and many other topics.

Part of the mission, working on access and participation, speaks on LYDC actively looking for resources and opportunities for families and students in their schools, communities, churches, parks, museums etc.  This is not only creating partnerships with other institutions and promoting their programming, this means that LYDC  assists families to register making sure they participate and gives guidance throughout the process as many of the families and their students are participating in these new activities for the first time.

LYDC is committed to promoting advocacy in every activity, families, and youth understand they are assets in our communities, being part of the community empowers them to voice their needs. Once families and youth learn or are informed of opportunities that will benefit all our students, we have a responsibility and commitment to pass the information to other families.  When systems or procedures are not satisfactory or don’t meet our needs, families, and youth will put in motion skills acquired in LYDC to advocate for change.  Families will share their experiences and frustrations with LYDC.  LYDC will create new activities, bring speakers to address problems, and ultimately accompany families to advocate with them in their schools.  Annual Conference, Promotoras, and every activity need to reflect this part of the mission.

LYDC families are the guiding light for all the activities, they will bring ideas, help us decide the how’s? who’s? and when’s? Families feel a sense of belonging to LYDC.

 

 

To learn more about the LYDC please call (612) 824-1188, or to donate go to

https://givemn.org/organization/latino-youth-development-collaborative-lydc