77, Transformative

From pediatric nurse to the Peace Corps to commercial photography, Laura has lived a busy and rewarding professional life. But it’s what she has accomplished in the past 5 years with the Northeast Community Center that is bringing new joy to her life. She has combined her long-time commitment to equity for women and children with the creation of something new and fresh in an under-resourced community. It is called Harmony Project KC, a free, instrumental music education and mentoring program for children 5 to 18 years of age. Starting with just 33 students in 2015, there are now 240 in after-school and weekend lessons. These students are 85% children of color, 95% from low- income homes and 50% live in families where English is their second language. When founded, the Northeast Community Center committed to immigrant Italian families. As the neighborhood changed, so did the programs of the center. When Laura became executive director in 2008, it was the home of the Charter School, Scuola Vita Nuova. When the school moved, Laura was tasked with transforming the center again. She researched several options and found Harmony Project of Los Angeles. That was the inspiration she needed. Now this center is the hub of family advocacy and a life-affirming youth-mentoring program that uses music to increase access to higher education. Laura continues her dedication to serving others and credits her role models at Rose Brooks Center and State Line Service League for showing her the way.

1111 W 39th St, Ste 200

Kansas City, MO 64111

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