Our community is home to a growing number of Latino youth and families. Their future is our future. 

Identity works to improve the lives of Latino youth and families in Montgomery County, where Latinos are the fastest growing demographic, having grown from 17% of the population in 2010 to 21% in 2020. Latinos are projected to represent 25% of the county’s population by 2040 (Maryland Department of Planning, Projections as of December 2020). The growth is even more dramatic among young people, who now make up 33% of the county’s public school population.

The majority of these youth are either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants. In many instances, the youth and families we serve fled their homelands due to civil wars, violence, political instability, or economic crisis. Because of these dire circumstances, many Latino youth in our community have experienced family separation. Mothers and fathers are often forced to immigrate to the U.S. without their children, who follow years later.

These immigrant youth, together with those born in the U.S., often face serious challenges, including poverty, unemployment, inadequate health care, and lack of parental supervision. All too often, these difficult life circumstances  lead to poor academic achievement, truancy, dropping out, and teen pregnancy — situations that severely limit young people’s options and opportunities.

At the same time, our Latino youth bring many strengths: love of family, pride in their culture, an eagerness to succeed, and an impressive resilience to forge ahead in spite of the hardships they bear. Identity addresses challenges by building on such strengths, and emphasizing learning strategies that focus on the wellbeing of youth and families in all aspects of their lives.

Visit the Who We Serve page for more details about the youth and parents served by Identity programs.