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Audience in Lecture






founder & ED




Lisa Maria Rhodes, LMSW, is in her 15th year as an educator in New Orleans, LA. A proud Colombian-American graduate of the University of Miami, Lisa Maria formerly taught in Miami, FL and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Lisa Maria is the founder of ALAS and she serves as the Director of Alumni Mental Health for Collegiate Academies Next. ALAS organizes youth impacted by immigration or criminal courts to train teachers how to support their students facing either system. Lack of adequate support jeopardizes students’ opportunities to complete high school and prohibits students from gaining access to universities.

Lisa Maria is the founder of New Orleans’ young Colombians group Reunión de la juventud colombiana as well as the NOLA Educators Support Immigrant Students network. Lisa Maria is a past or current fellow of El Centro, Latinos 4 Education, Camelback, 4.0 Schools, Propeller, New Leaders Council, Tech2Empower, Public Leaders, Open Societies Foundation, WKKellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network, and the National Juvenile Justice Network's Youth Justice Leadership Institute.

When she’s not engaging in justice and access work, Lisa María can be found enjoying nature, backpacking around the world, worshiping at St. Roch Community Church, playing on intramural sports teams as well as dancing salsa, bachata, and samba at dance congresses across the country. She has trained with Casa Samba, Renesanz and Tropik Vybe Dance Companies in New Orleans, and performed with Swing Latino and Salsa Pura in Cali, Colombia.

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