Larissa May (Larz) is a global marketing guru and founder of #HalfTheStory, a non-profit dedicated to empowering the next generation's relationship with social media. In 2020, Larz was named one of Business Insider's Rising Stars in Brand Marketing for her role in launching multiple million dollar ventures (Otherland and Kin Euphorics). She also created a grassroots community that pioneered a nationwide conversation about the importance of digital wellbeing for youth. Her efforts in community building have led to the founding of the Global Day of Unplugging, an internationally recognized day to divest from technology and plug back into life.
Larz began her entrepreneurial journey as a freshman in college at Vanderbilt University, working as a fashion blogger, international correspondent and media expert. Upon her graduation she had built her business into a nearly a six figure side hustle working with companies in London, New York and Paris.
During her senior year, amidst a dark battle with depression, Larz experienced a light bulb moment, realizing how social media was negatively impacting virtually all aspects of her life. With $250 from her college dorm room, she set out on a mission to help others create more meaningful connections through social storytelling— #HalfTheStory.The movement quickly garnered local attention, and within months, spread to other campuses in the region. Over the course of a year and a half, HTS grew into a globally recognized movement.
Larz has been dubbed a Digital Wellness activist by Time, Forbes, Refinery29, Good Morning America, and NBC.
After graduating Larz spent the better part of two years traveling around the country and speaking to groups about their experiences with Social Media. As a noted public speaker, she has presented to universities, corporations and institutions such as Sundance Film Festival, Samsung, Healthline Chronicon, and top Universities across the Globe.
To date, #HalfTheStory has become a leading youth 501(c)3, receiving over 30,000 stories from 99 countries around the world. From political figures, to leaders in tech, Larissa’s work has permeated all facets of life and business and her voice continues to carry a new generation of digital activists.
Now based in San Francisco, Larz travels regularly (virtually) for speaking engagements at schools and conferences across the US. You can follow her journey at @livinlikelarz and @halfthestory.