Latino Leadership, Inc. is Central Florida's most established grassroots organization commited to fostering the integration of the Hispanic community into mainstream America.
The organization emerged as a voter registration project in 1999, which evolved into a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in 2001. The organization’s main goal is to empower people by facilitating access to available resources that will lead them to success.
We are change makers. Committed to our community
Marytza Sanz is a devoted community advocate who has worked tirelessly – for almost all her adult life – to improve the quality of life of Hispanic families in Central Florida through the implementation of social enrichment programs that incorporate leadership development and empowerment, education advancement, and economic community development. Marytza founded Latino Leadership as a voter registration project in 1999 to empower the growing Latino community. The initiative evolved over time into a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated in 2001.
Since then, throughout her work within the community and the organizational programming, Marytza Sanz has been able to assist thousands of families. Under her direction, Latino Leadership has developed a series of programs and services, such as: Santiago & Friends | Family Center for Autism, the first fully bilingual Autism ABA therapy center in Orlando; “Healthy House, Happy Home” Housing Counseling, 10- person Computer Lab, Technology education programs for children from underserved communities; and more recently Florida’s Children Academy private school for children with special abilities and the Puerto Rico Family Response Center (PRFRC).
The PRFRC was created as a humanitarian response to help alleviate the suffering of families impacted by the natural disaster. Through this Center, the organization has helped tens of thousands displaced families by providing immediate emergency relief services, which include food assistance, orientation about employment opportunities and referrals, school enrollment assistance, information about available English classes, government and health services, business incubation, among others.
Moreover, Mrs. Sanz lends her expertise to the University of Central Florida President’s Minority Advisory Board and the Children’s Campaign. Previously, she served on the Homeless Coalition and Florida Devereux boards. Marytza Sanz’ work in voter engagement and health education has received national and statewide coverage from media outlets such as CNN, Univision, Telemundo, Orlando Sentinel, the St. Petersburg Times, El Nuevo Día, Miami Herald and the San Juan Star. During the past years, Marytza also had a weekly radio program “Al Oído de la Comunidad”, which was aimed to help and advise the community.
Before founding Latino Leadership, Marytza worked for the Census Bureau and served as the Central Florida Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for the Gore/Lieberman campaign. In 2010, Marytza Sanz was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to serve on Florida’s Statewide Complete Count Committee to ensure a comprehensive count of Florida’s population during the 2010 Census. Marytza is married to her husband Carlos Guzman, president of the National Puerto Rican Leadership Council Economic Fund. She has two daughters and two wonderful grandchildren.
Marucci is a fearless community advocate committed to empowering people and eradicating barriers to self-sufficiency. As a strategist and challenger of conventional-visions, she has successfully crafted innovative initiatives to boost family welfare, leadership, and economic development. Marucci’s inner passions have helped her evolve into “the voice of the Latino community”.
As Executive Director of Latino Leadership, Central Florida’s most prominent Latino nonprofit community-based organization, she has earned a leading role within the public as a result of her humanitarian labor organizing disaster relief efforts, such as the Puerto Rico Family Response Center, United with Haiti, and Salvemos El Salvador.
Under her leadership, she established the first fully bilingual autism center in Central Florida, Santiago & Friends | Family Center for Autism; designed and coordinated non-partisan/educational political events; developed grant proposals to foundations and corporations securing hundreds of thousands of dollars; and has managed a housing portfolio of over 12 properties through the organization’s Healthy House, Happy Home program; with present day values close to $1 million.
In response to Hurricane Maria ravaging the Island of Puerto Rico, in partnership with the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she created the Puerto Rico Family Response Center which has served more than 9,100 displaced families through emergency response and programmatic services. Her most recent project is Latino Leadership Behavioral Health (LLBH). LLBH serves the Central Florida community through linguistically- and culturally-relevant mental health services.
The University of Phoenix National Hispanic Leadership Scholarship and Coors Lideres have recognized her career. She is a proud NALCAB Colegio Fellow. Marucci attained a Master of Management and Public Administration from the University of Phoenix of Orlando, Florida and B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Political Science and Non-Profit Management from the University of Central Florida. Currently, she lends her talents as Vice President on the Orange County Library Board of Trustees. She is married to Florida State Representative René Plasencia and has a beautiful daughter who is her inspiration.
The organization’s programs are focused into three major areas: Education Advancement, Leadership Development, and Economic Development.