Raise DC Leadership Council


Lori Kaplan

Latin American Youth Center
CEO & President (retired)

Lori Kaplan led the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) to its national prominence as an award-winning network of youth programs in Washington, DC, since 1987. Under Kaplan's direction, LAYC guided thousands of low-income youth to better opportunity, while creating pioneering organizations and schools.

Kaplan’s leadership roles include selection as a board member of Leadership Washington, The Nonprofit Roundtable, Asian American LEAD, and winning the Lewis Hine Award for her work on child labor issues. As well, she is the founding
co-chair of the DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, and was on the founding board of Youth Radio and Youth Media International. She served as an advisor and panelist on the Reconnecting Youth work group of the Clinton Global Initiative America conferences in 2013 and 2014, as well as Georgetown University's Center on Poverty, The National Youth Employment Coalition, and The National Youth Policy Forum. Kaplan is also a co-founder of three DC charter schools—Next Step, YouthBuild, and LAYC Career Academy. Recent recognitions include receiving the Community Champion Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and being named one of “Washington's 50 Influencers” by the Washington Informer Charities.

Kaplan earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology at Antioch College and her master's in education at the George Washington University.