Culture Shaker

The lovely Larissa joined the Pure Freedom crew in fall of 2018, ready to rock Northeast Missouri schools with her contagious joy, huge heart, and creative flair. She has spent years encouraging students in their educational pursuits and personal growth through a local after school program, and now brings that experience into school classrooms. As a Pure Freedom Educator, she gets to share her passion for serving kids and spreading truth in a different school every week.

Larissa grew up in an old schoolhouse in the country about twenty miles outside of Kirksville, and graduated in 2018 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art. She’s the middle child of two awesome parents who both work in education and have inspired Larissa’s love of caring for students. In her spare time, you’ll find her spending time with the Lord in prayer, fellowshipping around faith stories with friends and family, serving her local church, running, and going on adventures.

“I decided to work for Pure Freedom because I believe the mission is important for the future of our children and society,” Larissa says. “For me, choosing this work meant that I would begin to meet with teenagers that desperately needed to know how to make healthy choices for their future. When I was their age, I didn’t have information like we share, and found myself in a lot of destructive situations.Thanks be to God that He healed me and is now able to use my story as a testimony to young hearts.”

Lifeline loves having Larissa’s warm spirit around, and she too embraces Lifeline’s family-oriented environment. “I love everything about my job!” she says. “I love that we are giving information to students that helps set them up for the best and healthiest lives. I love my coworkers who encourage one another daily. I also love the environment of our office that is dedicated to creating a safe haven filled with hope and grace. This is the dream job I had no idea I even wanted until I began working here.”

Pure Freedom is all about helping teens cultivate relationship skills, and Larissa fits right in with goals she has for her own future. “My goals are to always practice healthy relationships, whether that is with my future husband, my children, or family. Another goal of mine is to continually pour into a younger generation. The culture around us has such a strong pull on our children. I believe that Christians have a responsibility to proactively prepare them to make decisions that stand against what the world says and to instead stand for what God designed. In my job at Pure Freedom, I am privileged to have a part in doing that.”

As she’s finishing up her first year as an SRA Educator, Larissa is already making an impression on students. “She was very open to answering all of our questions,” said one student in a post-survey comment. “She was kind and taught me so much more.” Other students remarked on how comfortable they felt talking with her, and thanked her for sharing her story with them.

Larissa’s prayer for her students is best explained by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians:

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. - Ephesians 4:14 NLT

Thanks to all our supporters who make it possible for such a warm heart like Larissa’s to encourage thousands of teens with Pure Freedom’s message of hope.

By Kath Crane

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