We had the good fortune of connecting with Marjorie Luzuriaga and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marjorie, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I believe all of my best ideas come out late at night as I am a night owl. In my freshman year, I was sitting in my bed at midnight, and I was thinking about how lonely other kids must feel in the pandemic with no social interaction. At the time, the hot topic for the teenagers was penpaling. It became very popular during the pandemic to connect with people around the world. I was also interested in the idea of penpaling, so I decided to start a letter writing initiative for kids in need hoping to make kids smile during their hard times.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am most proud of the community I have built with my 700 volunteers. Knowing that there are 700 volunteers from across the world willing to volunteer for my organization is overwhelming itself. I have gotten to know different volunteers, and their willingness to serve is heartwarming. It took a lot of time to get to where I am today. One of the most important things I learned from this journey is that always to be grateful. I have talked to hundreds of homeless shelter program leaders, and I have heard that most of the children do not understand their living situation. They think of their situation as an adventure. I believe many of us are fortunate to have a roof onto of our heads, and we must continue to be grateful for that. I would also want everyone to know that nothing is supposed to come easy! We all learn from our mistakes. Do not be afraid to make mistakes because without mistakes, there will be no growth. Always keep trying when things begin to look bleak.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend coming over to tour Los Angeles, I would take them to the following places: Westwood Village, Madang Plaza, California Market, the Grove, Intercontinental Hotel, and Grififth Observatory. Westwood Village is by far one of the best hangout spots with so much things to do. They have a wide variety of food choices, and they also have a movie theater. The atmosphere is nice, and the people there are very accommodating. I would then take my friend to Madang Plaza and California Market. Madang Plaza has so many food choices, and they have so many different shopping destinations. California Market has the best chicken place inside their market. I also love the upstairs at night. It is very calm, and a nice spot to do work surrounded in lights. I could also not forget about the Grove. The Grove is also one of the best hangout spots. The workers are so welcoming, and they are always willing to answer any questions. I would then take my friend to the Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown LA to look at views of the city lights from their rooftop. Lastly, I would take my friend to the Griffith Observatory to watch the sunset.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would first like to give a HUGE shoutout my family (Marc (dad), Jhorjyrose (mom), Marc II (brother), Margarette (sister), Matthew (brother), grandparents, aunts, and uncles). They have been very encouraging with everything I do. My family always helps me with donating to places in the Los Angeles area, such as the Los Angeles Mission and Youth Emerging Stronger. My family has always been my number one supporters. They are always cheering me on from the sidelines. They always help me in every way they can.

I would then like to give a major shoutout to my faculty advisor/AP Calculus AB teacher at Larchmont Charter High School, Kwan Tam. He has helped me extensively with all of my extracurriculars. He assists me in every way he can, and I have learned many lessons from him. He has helped me see every situation in different angles, which helps for the outcome to be the best it can be.

Website: https://theluzuriagafoundation.org

Instagram: @theluzuriagafoundation

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theluzuriagafoundation/

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