Local Hero: Gloria Lazalde

Gloria Lazalde

"[Our] greatest achievement is allowing women to go where [they're] celebrated, not just tolerated...bridging the gap between different generations through our service."

Gloria Lazalde is a distinguished community organizer, manager, and altruist. In 2005, she founded the "Celebrando Nuestras Madres" annual event to honor the lives of both her late mother and her sister. The event honors mothers that, due to hardship, would not otherwise be able to celebrate Mother's Day. Women from all walks of life come together to honor their mutual achievements as mothers. Since its inaugural year, Celebrando Nuestras Madres has treated over one thousand women to a day of celebration and recognition. Through this annual event, Mrs. Lazalde remains committed to her initial mission: to motivate, inspire, and empower women and acknowledge the contributions they continuously make to their families and their communities at large.

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Lazalde has two decades of experience in the management of work force development. She began her career in 1988 as an occupancy specialist for Nobles Property Management. She managed certification processes in a 430-unit public housing complex serving over 2,500 residents. As she assisted in the management company's numerous projects and collaborations, her affinity for community organization continued to grow. Eventually, she started independently organizing groups for abused women in response to a dramatic rise in domestic and community violence, as well as founding family support groups and gang prevention groups for youth.

In 1998, she joined the Valley Economic Development Center as a Career Coach and Program Manager for the Pacoima Workforce Development Initiative. During her tenure there, Mrs. Lazalde worked closely with a major commercial bank to create the Pacoima Workforce Alliance. In 2004, she joined the Youth Policy Institute (YPI) as Director of Work Force & Adult Education, where she oversees start-up and implementation of programs in education, work force, and technology. Mrs. Lazalde directs all phases of these programs. She explicates the mission of programs to stakeholders, developing effective implementation of direct and indirect services. Also, she establishes rapport with leaders in the community and works closely with collaborative partners to identify additional supportive services.

As a consultant, Mrs. Lazalde was contracted by the Los Angeles Urban Funders (LAUF), Prudential Neighborhood Partnership, and the Stuart Foundation. She identified important issues facing Pacoima by conducting a community assessment and organizing monthly meetings that involved non-profit partner discussions with San Fernando High and the feeder school in the area.

Mrs. Lazalde sits on the Community Advisory Council of Mission Community Hospital, as well as the Board of Pacoima Credit Union. For her continued and exemplary efforts, Mrs. Lazalde has received many honors, including Certificates of Recognition from California State Congress member Howard Berman and City of Los Angeles council member Alex Padilla. She has also received recognition for her volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America and for her work on the Pacoima Careers Project Child Care Resource Center. Mrs. Lazalde is a life-long resident of the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

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