Erika Cuellar ’08

LMU Lion Acts of Service Erika Cuellar ’08


Tell Us What Connected your Nominee to This Organization
I am extremely proud of the work Erika embodies. Rooted in restorative justice and environmental stewardship, ALMA started in 2013 to implement a project to reclaim lives, repurpose land and reimage community. ALMA proposes real solutions to the challenges of California's overcrowded prisons and food injustice in low-income neighborhoods. (

What Inspires You About the Organization, Mission or Your Nominee's Role
Erika is more than a co-founder at Alma Backyard Farms. She is literally in the weeds organizing, executing, and delivering - working one-on-one with the social enterprise team and community members to deliver an opportunity, a product, a second chance. The farm is a haven and sanctuary for many to find healthy food, peace and solace - and Erika has contributed to that environment.

Share Advice to Guide Students Hoping to Pursue a Career with Social Impact or in Nonprofit Industries
Passion. It always starts with passion. Erika and her co-founder, Richard, worked with those on the margins and were inspired by their stories of hope. They thus seized an opportunity to put into practice their desire to work side by side with a population that yearned for others to believe in them and trust in their willpower to change for themselves, for their family, for their community. With a clear vision, they developed a plan and have not stopped executing it with excellence and grace.

Erika was nominated by Cristina Cuellar ’04, M.A. ’09

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