LES Community Hero
Presented by Shaheeda Smith, Community Organizer, Lower East Side Community Culture Council Member
Larissa Lozada is the founder of Ground Up-Youth Work, serves as a consultant and partners with youth programs, non profit CBO’s, private & government agencies to provide capacity building, staff training, and direct client services for at-risk youth.
Larissa began her journey into social service in 1999 when she implemented programs at Rikers Island jail and at secure and non-secure juvenile facilities across NYC that provided social emotional groups and crisis discharge planning for women and young people. Throughout the course of her career, Larissa’s passion has been to educate & support marginalized communities, focusing on at-risk youth. She’s done so in many different capacities over the years, including vital frontline roles such as case manager/counselor, outreach specialist, and sexual health/wellness coordinator, just to name a few. She’s an advocate and voice for youth in the media, at Washington lobbies and at City Hall hearings as a community organizer; and has held leadership roles at non profit youth organizations such as the Sadonte Foundation where she served as the Executive Director of Youth Programs and her current role at Safe Horizon’s youth program, Streetwork Project, where Larissa is the Asst Director of the Lower East Side Drop in/Street Outreach Unit overseeing all drop in services and programming; as well as leading the street outreach component which serves at-risk, homeless and sexually trafficked youth 13-24, 7 days a week throughout all 5 NYC boroughs.
Larissa’s work is grounded in Anti-Racist principles, Trauma Informed perspectives, and Harm Reduction strategies. These are Larissa’s areas of expertise and the foundation upon which she has served youth, supported youth programs,and built her youth workshops and trainings.