11th Class, 2004-2005
Field Placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foodlink for Tulare County, Fresno Community Food Bank, and Fresno Metropolitan Ministry (Central Valley of CA)
Laura increased food stamp access and participation in California’s Central Valley by training community based organizations to initiate the application process for eligible clients, working with Food Stamp advocates in Fresno County to enhance a Food Stamp Task Force, and undertaking a multi-level media campaign to reach eligible participants and improve public understanding of the Food Stamp Program.
Hunger Free Community Report:
Growing Health and Wealth: Food Stamp Outreach in the Central Valley and Beyond identifies major barriers to food stamp access and outreach and makes recommendations for improving program participation. It includes a project narrative, a toolkit for others working on similar projects, a compilation of various perspectives on food stamp outreach, and an appendix with print media coverage.
Policy Placement: Volunteers of America (Alexandria, VA)
Laura conducted research to identify the supportive services provided to homeless families, evaluate the impact such services have on the families’ ability to obtain and maintain permanent housing, and explore the effects of federal, state, and local policies have on homeless families’ access to permanent housing. .
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Laura graduated from Bowdoin College in 2004 with a BA in sociology and Spanish. She served on the Common Good Grant Committee and was involved in a variety of volunteer programs on poverty and education at Bowdoin. She studied abroad in La Paz, Bolivia, interned at a family support center, raised funds through the San Francisco AIDS Walk, and led middle-schoolers in community service activities at a camp in her hometown of Palo Alto, California.