Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Youth Voice: Continue School-Based Workforce Development

This week we’re bringing you the testimony of Ademir Delcid, a student in LAYC’s Guide to Post Secondary (GPS) Program from last week’s performance oversight hearing (3/7) on DOES and the WIC. Currently supported by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) dollars, programs like GPS are facing significant funding shortfalls under the District’s Draft WIOA State Plan. A reduction in the federal allocation of in-school program funding, the District’s planned emphasis on increasing pre-employment supports specifically for youth with disabilities, and, most importantly, the lack of local dollars to supplement these programs could threaten their continuation. (More on these trends here.) Especially as the District moves towards the creation of a career pathways system, it’s critical to bolster programs like GPS that help youth transition into post secondary education and better jobs. We'll turn it to Ademir to explain why:

My name is Ademir Delcid, I am 18 years and a senior attending Woodrow Wilson Senior High School. I have been a part of The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) Guide to Post Secondary (GPS) for the past two years. Being a part of LAYC has been a wonderful experience.

Through LAYC, I have improved academically and been given the opportunity to give back. In school, my progress is tracked so that I am passing my classes. If an assignment or anything is missing that may affect my grade, the advisors of LAYC at school make sure that I get the help to understand the lesson/homework through after school tutoring or personal help. I am also getting help with my essays and writing. If I have a writing assignment or college application, they make sure that it has been reviewed and corrected before submission. I have participated in community service events through LAYC. I attended the MLK Day of service and Martha's Table, each one allowing me to give back to those in need. I have also participated in dances that were hosted at LAYC and Wilson, both events allowing people to be entertained and enjoy themselves.

GPS has given me financial help and preparation for college. Being enrolled in the program, I have learned about FAFSA, what to look for in colleges, how to apply to scholarships and prepare for the SAT’s. I am also being paid in different ways, some being: taking the SAT, attendance, CASAS testing, and community service events. With the money I earned, I created a bank account that I have put my money on a debit card. With the help of my advisors I was taught how to save my money, in preparation for college, so that when I do attend college I will have saved up enough to pay for school related items or other needed things. Through GPS, I have applied to over 12 schools and 6 scholarships. I have learned a lot during my senior year and it has prepared me for college.

During my 2 years of being in LAYC, I got to meet a wonderful team of advisors. I was given the opportunity to work with Adriana, Scholastique, Ella, Diana, Alexis and Loren. Meeting them and talking with them made me realize that they knew what they wanted for us students, which was to succeed and be prepared for the next chapter in our lives. Being a senior, I do not have the opportunity to continue working with them, however all that they have done in the short amount of time were worth the little time. Overall what each and every individual in this program has helped not only me but other students achieve is the progression, impact and determination to succeed in and out of school. I have witnessed firsthand how my life has been impacted and I thank each and every member of LAYC GPS for their never ending spirit to see me and others be prepared for college and life. I see each and every individual that have worked with me as more than advisors, they are my family and LAYC is my home.

For more information on how to get involved in advocating for the continuation of in-school workforce development programs this budget season, check out our budget hearing schedule and testimony guide, or reach out to DCAYA's policy analyst, Amy Dudas, at

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