Mirna (Lupi) Quinteros-Grady, President & CEO of LAYC, is a strategic, forward-thinking leader with over 20 years of experience working in socio-economically challenged communities serving a diverse population of youth. Since assuming her role in 2018, Lupi has intertwined LAYC’s mission with the new and evolving needs of Washington, DC and Maryland’s Black, Latino, and immigrant communities to ensure our services are responsive, relevant, and reliable to over 4,500 youth and families each year. Over her four years as president & CEO at LAYC, she has transformed LAYC operations and directed staff through an unprecedented global health crisis; leading LAYC to provide culturally-relevant and linguistically-inclusive services where many other organizations could not.
As a regional leader in the youth development field for over 20 years, Lupi has been responsible for the implementation of over 45+ multicultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs addressing youths’ social, academic, and career needs. She previously served as LAYC’s Maryland Multicultural Youth Center’s (LAYC/MMYC) managing director, providing vision and oversight for all our Montgomery and Prince George’s County operations. She has extensive knowledge of the development, design and replication of programs in the field of youth development and initiatives that govern community-based organizations in DC and Maryland. In her commitment to youth development, she has been invested in the development of LAYC Positive Youth Development (PYD) curriculum; a culturally-relevant, youth-centered approach created by the communities we serve, for the communities we serve.
Lupi is the first Latina to ever lead LAYC, and her connection to LAYC began as a 14-year-old participant in LAYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program; a program she would go on to lead as a college student in her first position at LAYC. As an immigrant from El Salvador, Lupi uniquely understands the challenges and triumphs of the families we serve and maintains a personal connection to our youth through volunteering in our direct service programs. In addition to her master’s degree in bilingual and special education from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College, Lupi credits our PYD approach as helping her build the confidence, advocacy, and communication skills that guide her to this day. Under her new strategic plan, launched in 2019, LAYC has prioritized racial equity and youth voice as central components of our ongoing mission: returning power to communities of color through grassroots programming.
LAYC is proud of the recognition Lupi has received as a leader across wider DC and Maryland communities, as she amplifies the voice of our more vulnerable youth and families within key political and communal forums. In 2014, she was elected to the school board of Prince George’s District 2, providing leadership and expertise on academic and cultural barriers Latino and immigrant youth experience in Maryland’s public schools: at the time, she was one of only two Latinas serving on the board. In 2019, she became a member of Leadership Greater Washington, graduating Class of 2020. From 2020 to present, she and LAYC have been selected to participate in a series of COVID-19 education and recovery coalitions in DC and Maryland, including DC Health Scientific Advisory Committee, Montgomery County Community Advisory Board, and Prince George Forward Taskforce’s Education Recovery Work Group, to help accelerate recovery efforts and dispel health misinformation targeting communities of color. Her most recent accolades also include Washington Business Journal’s 2022 “Women Who Mean Business” Award, Montgomery Collaboration Council’s 2019 “Time Well Spent for Montgomery’s Children” Award, NFL’s 2019 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, El Tiempo Latino’s 2019 “100 Powermeter” Award, Prince George’s 2019 “Visionary Women in Prince George’s County” Award. She has also served as a member of the Presidential Transition Committee for Montgomery County Community College.