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FAMILY ADVOCACY

Laura is an advocate for families. She is passionate about how important families are and how much support they need. She had a unique experience of advocating for and helping student families at Harvard Business school (HBS) for five years while her husband pursued his doctorate. During those five years of living in student housing at the HBS campus, Laura was engaged in organizing with the families on campus. She spent her days listening to and advocating for the needs of mothers, students, and partners of students on campus. Because of her active volunteerism in supporting mothers and children, Harvard’s administration approached Laura and assigned her to council and organize with the many student mothers who spanned the gamut of diversity: ethnically, economically and with varying life circumstances. This experience exposed her and taught her about the complexities that student, working and or stay at home mothers face daily. She became keenly interested in motherhood and how to best support the mothers at Harvard. She thrust herself deeper into the work and became engaged in the school’s women’s organization, learning from female leaders from all over the world.  She saw a great need to offer more support to not just mothers but to parents and their children. Identifying this need, she met with and negotiated with the administration to allow her to start a new organization for families on campus that focused on supporting student families. It was an uphill battle getting funding and gathering support from the administration, but Laura was able to form HBS’s first ever, family-centered student organization titled Crimson Parents. There were many elements of this organization that reexamined how to best support student parents at Harvard. She helped establish an arts program for children, a mentorship program for new families, special events for student parents and many community events to build and establish support systems for families.

Through these transformative changes in the community that linked her passion for speaking and her talent in helping families connect, Laura garnered the support from her peers to launch a Parenting Speaking Series. The Parenting Speaking Series was a series of workshops that focused on helping those in attendance with the tools and resources to be better parents. Bridget Sullivan, the President of PBS, attended the Parenting Speaking Series and praised it for “being an incredible idea with content that really helped families.” Through the years after successfully establishing Crimson Parents, Laura has continued to mentor this group and is asked regularly to speak to the mothers at HBS. She believes in the importance of community for families and deeply loves helping parents find a way to be a happy thriving family.

A few  of her favorite talks

“The importance of Community in Supporting Families”

“How Work Life Family balance is Sabotaging Parents:  The purpose of a career is to support our families, not the families support the Career

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