Mar 1, 2021
How many of us can look back on a single foundational experience that shaped how we see ourselves? Lupi Quinteros-Grady can. She was 14 years old and an immigrant when she attended a program at Latin American Youth Center. She connected to a diverse group of young people and over time honed the confidence and skills needed to advocate on issues, including HIV, that directly affected the community. Years later, Lupi graduated from college, the first in her family to do so, and was offered a position at LAYC, managing the same program she once attended. She accepted and after 23 years of developing its holistic approach to academics, conservation, workforce development, housing and mental health, Lupi became LAYC’s CEO. She is now shifting programs and resources to meet the almost unimaginable needs generated by Covid19. LAYC has created new systems to support families with food, emergency rental assistance and mental health counseling. And it intervenes when young people become disconnected from school, a result of caring for younger siblings when parents are ill. This is powerful work with local roots and national relevance.