Maya Angelou Young Adult Learning Center

About the School

Location: 5600 East Capitol Street, NE, Washington DC 20019
Phone: (202) 289-8898 | Fax: (202) 289-8897
Director: Dr. Sean Yisrael

The Maya Angelou Young Adult Learning Center (YALC) provides academic and workforce development to young people ages 17 to 24 who do not have high school credentials, and particularly those transitioning from incarceration.

We know existing services and programs for juvenile ex-offenders, court-involved youth, and disconnected youth throughout the city are fragmented, and in many cases, inadequate – especially for older, under-credited youth, most of whom face significant academic and socio-emotional deficiencies.

As a gateway to life success for disengaged, disconnected, and disenfranchised students, YALC directly tackles a cycle where poverty, poor education, and bad decision-making leads to juvenile delinquency and incarceration as a youth, and then an adult life of intermittent work and incarceration.


Working through the following programs, the Maya Angelou Young Adult Learning Center is achieving its objectives:


Participants who have few high school credits and low academic skills enroll in the GED preparation program, leading towards GED certification. Additionally, the Adult Basic Education component to the GED pathway serves participants with significant gaps in basic literacy and math skills.

To build workplace competencies, the YALC offers a Foundations Course (required of all students) to engage young adults in strengthening their workforce preparation. This course provides an introduction to employment opportunities and real world application of the academic and “soft skills” necessary to secure and sustain employment.


Through a partnership with the Home Builder’s Institute, participants gain exposure to seven construction trades in order to be certified for the OSHA (the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 10 certification.


A special education teacher and onsite counselors develop plans to meet the learning and emotional needs of students. Additionally, the YALC has trained clinical counselors and social workers who provide individualized and group counseling to help students overcome the challenges that have prevented them from earning a credential in the past.


Key Staff

Dr. Sean Yisreal
YALC Director
Taihra Jones
Dean of Academics
Vanessa Banks
School Social Worker