20th Class, 2013-2014
Field Placement: Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative (Portland, ME)
Laura worked with school districts in areas surrounding Portland, ME to evaluate and expand their school breakfast programs. She also conducted a barrier assessment of the Senior Farm Share Program in order to develop recommendations for improved program outreach, education, and promotion.
Hunger Free Community Report:
The Way Breakfast Should Be: Best Practices for Serving Breakfast to More Maine Students, details non-traditional options for serving school breakfast in Maine. This guide explains the importance of school breakfast, and provides information for implementation, including how to determine financial viability, how to gain support for program changes, and how to conduct outreach to students and families.
Policy Placement: The Urban Institute (Washington, DC)
Laura worked on the Teens and Food Insecurity project, a project associated with the Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) Demonstration. She co-facilitated focus groups of teens at three HOST public housing sites to determine what role food insecurity plays in teens’ risky behaviors. Laura also supported the Promoting Adolescent Sexual Health and Safety (PASS) Initiative, part of the HOST Demonstration, through the creation of guidelines for service provision and codes of conduct for engaging with youth.
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Originally from Redford, Michigan, Laura graduated summa cum laude earning a degree in psychology with honors from Wayne State University in 2012. At Wayne State University, she conducted research on the relationship between young adult low-income mothers and their toddlers and completed a senior honors thesis on maternal social support and toddlers’ behavior problems. As an AmeriCorps member she served with City Year Detroit, where she tutored and mentored low-performing students in southwest Detroit, Michigan. Laura has also facilitated service learning projects to increase volunteer engagement in the greater Detroit community.