Learn About Laura, our New Executive Director

Did you have a mentor in college or early career? If so, who was it and how did they support you?

While I did not have a formal mentor, there have been a few people in my life that have helped shape my path as I have moved forward in my career. The person who stands out the most is someone I met during my first job after college. I had the opportunity to work for a wonderful woman who is still as much of an influence today as she was back then. She taught me many things but the one thing that sticks with me the most is to be conscious of the legacy I am leaving behind. No matter what it is I am doing, whether it is professional or personal, I think about how my work and my actions can have a positive impact on others that they can follow and build upon. This pushes me to always do the best I can.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I always remember was from my dad on my wedding night. Everyone was having a great time and as the evening was coming to an end, the DJ asked if we wanted to extend the music for another hour. I asked my dad what he thought and he said to me: “Always end on a high note because the last thing that people experience is what they will remember the most.” I have applied this advice to different aspects of my life and it has always worked well for me. I have passed it along to my children and they have embraced it as well.

What inspires you about working at Sponsor-A-Scholar? During my career, I have been involved with various non-profit organizations with different missions but my passion truly lies in helping youth and connecting them with the resources and the skills they need to be successful. As I am meeting with people connected to Sponsor-A-Scholar in different ways, it is evident that this organization is truly making a difference in the lives of the Scholars and helping them to experience things and find success in ways that may not have been possible without this program. I am excited to be a part of this work and I am sure that I will learn as much from our Scholars as they are learning from us.

What would you say to someone who is considering supporting Sponsor-A-Scholar?

It’s hard to put into words the value that a program like this brings. We can talk about numbers, statistics and success rates but until you see it in action or hear from an alum of the program do you really begin to understand the deep, lasting impact that we are having on our Scholars. Support comes in different ways. I encourage everyone to learn more about how they can get involved and how they can help. Coming to one of our events or programs is a great way to get started and I’m always available, as well as is our staff, to talk and share information about our programs. Once you become involved you will quickly see and feel the value of your support.

What is your vision for Sponsor-A-Scholar’s future?

What sets Sponsor-A-Scholar apart from other organizations is our long-term support model. We start working with students in 10th grade and continue to provide support and resources through college graduation and beyond. We are also the only organization in the region with the National Quality Mentoring System designation. It’s something we are proud of, and it shows that we take our commitment to mentoring very seriously. Building on the successes of the twenty-plus year history, I see Sponsor-A-Scholar becoming a resource in the community as the go-to expert in college access and success. I envision the organization growing in a way that is sustainable so that we can continue to support our Scholars as they go through the educational process and reach their own success.