Identity serves more than 3,000 youth and families in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Identity’s primary focus is on assisting Latino youth and their families who live in high poverty areas of Montgomery County. With our partners, we serve all at-risk youth who need help. Of the youth served in our school-based programs, Youth Opportunity Centers and Soccer Program, 75% are Hispanic/Latino, 22% are Black/African American and 3% are of various other ethnicities.
The youth in our programs face tremendous challenges. For instance, 4 out of 10 have been separated from one or both of their parents because of immigration issues at some time in their lives. Worse yet, these are not short separations: the average length of time that youth reported having been separated from their parents was eight years.
Such separations often lead to a critical lack of parental involvement and supervision during formative years. Furthermore, family separation and poverty go hand-in-hand with precarious living situations.
Demographic data gathered from youth served by Identity’s school-based programs, Youth Opportunity Centers, and Soccer program.
Roll over the numbers to reveal some of the biggest challenges affecting youth in our programs.
…of students in Identity’s school-based programs report receiving Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS).
…of foreign-born youth have been in the U.S. less than 1 year; 78% have been here less than 5 years.
… separated from one or both parents at some point due to immigration issues.
…of youth under age 18 lived in a single parent home; 19% lived in a restructured family.
We also serve the parents of youth in our programs.
The vast majority of our parents are first-generation immigrants, and they face challenges and barriers that directly impact their children’s ability to succeed in school and in life.
Among a group of 321 Identity parents who were recently surveyed, 9 in 10 said they were foreign born. Of that group, 81% said they did not feel comfortable speaking English. Seven out of 10 had less than a high-school education, and 29% reported completing less than 8th grade. We address these challenges and are dedicated to interrupting the intergenerational cycle of poverty.
For more insights about those we serve, as well as program outcomes that demonstrate how we are making a difference and helping youth and families fulfill their potential, please see our 2015-2016 Annual Evaluation Report.
Visit the Our Community page to learn more about the growing Latino population in Montgomery County, Maryland.