SAMUEL LAZALDE is a native of Los Angeles, a local, an Angelino, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, to a family that was intergenerationally plagued with gangs. Samuel spent much of his youth in and out of Juvenile Hall and Juvenile encampments. His descent into the culture fostered and cultivated in his community ultimately led Samuel to a hospital bed, when he suffered a gun shot wound through the left side of his face. Not long after having experienced this traumatic event Samuel shifted the detrimental trajectory he was on.
Since breaking the cycle of violence for his family, Samuel has devoted his efforts to helping those around him reach the same epiphanies that served to transform his life. Samuel has used a Trauma-Informed approach to his work in Gang Intervention and Gang Prevention in the same community where he nearly lost his life.
Recently, Samuel earned his Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California and is currently solidifying his stance within city government, working for the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office to continue being of instrumental service to the very change he would like to see across Los Angeles. In his free time, Samuel indulges in the noble art of pugilism and has used the opportunity to mentor young men exiting the prison system.
Presentation topics include:
-working with vulnerable youth through a TI lens
-working with unaccompanied and immigrant youth